Jan. 28, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (5-2) made it a short Sunday stint on the court, storming past eighth-ranked Penn State (3-2) by controlling scores of 25-19, 25-15, 25-17. The +24 point differential moved the Buckeyes to 5-2 on the season.
Ohio State trailed for just two rallies the entire afternoon. Kills by Nicolas Szerszen immediately wiped out both of those deficits at 13-12 and 14-13 in the second set, tying the score up at 13- and 14-all.
Ohio State attacked the Nittany Lions from all angles with a .480 team hitting percentage and three or more kills coming from five different sources, including a match-high 16 kills for Jake Hanes. Outside hitter Maxime Hervoir and Szerszen combined for 19 kills while Nick Laffin and Blake Leeson supplied eight more kills from the middle.
On the defensive side, Ohio State out-dug the opposition 26-19; due in large part to Szerszen’s 10 digs alone. In the front court, Leeson posted two solo swats and paired with Hanes for two block assists. Hanes and Laffin got together for a rejection as well.
SET 1: The tone was set right away as Ohio State ended each of the first three points via the kill. Penn State would claw back into it at 7-7, but two rallies later the Buckeyes rattled off four straight points and never looked back in the 25-19 winner. Sanil Thomas accumulated a dozen assists in guiding OSU to a .500 team attacking efficiency. Leeson did his part in a big way, terminating four of five sets sent his direction.
SET 2: As mentioned above, the Nittany Lions mustered a 14-13 edge midway through the second stanza. It was all Buckeyes from there, however, going on a 12-1 run to race past PSU 25-15.
SET 3: Ohio State kept the pressure on in the subsequent set, attacking .520 with 14 kills. The overpowering Buckeyes doubled up Penn State 16-8 and kept the cushion no less than six points for the rest of the match. Pennsylvania native, Reese Devilibiss, drilled home the final nail with a kill for point No. 25 of the set (25-17).
A road trip awaits the Buckeyes next weekend, trekking to the University of Charleston (W.Va.) for a Friday (Sept. 2) night match before taking on George Mason on Saturday (Sept. 3). Both contests are set for 7 p.m. ET starts.