COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 13th-ranked Ohio State (6-4 overall, 3-0 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) men’s volleyball team defeated Juniata (1-3), 3-0 (30-18, 30-25, 30-26) Sunday afternoon in St. John Arena. OSU’s Shawn Sangrey posted a match-high 19 points with 18 kills (.429) and two assist blocks. Buckeye Mik Berzins added 12 points with 12 kills (.292). Grayson Overman and Nick Gibson contributed 11 points each against the top-ranked (Div. III) Eagles. Overman posted nine kills (.692) and four assist blocks while Gibson had nine kills (.286), one solo block and two assist blocks. Zach Wanner had a team-high 12.5 points for Juniata with 10 kills, two solo blocks and one assist block. Chris Vrooman added 10 points with nine kills and two assist blocks.
Ohio State opened game one with kills from Sangrey and Berzins. After an OSU error, a Kevin Heine kill and an Eagle error gave the Buckeyes a 4-1 lead. At 8-6, kills from Berzins and Heine and a Sangrey-Heine block gave Ohio State an 11-6 lead. After a Dan Follett kill made it 11-7, two Sangrey kills and an Eagle error gave the Buckeyes a 14-7 lead. At 22-15 kills from Sangrey and Steven Kehoe and two Juniata errors gave Ohio State a 26-15 lead. At 28-18, a kill from Overman made it game point at 29-18. Ohio State won the game, 30-18 with a Kehoe-Overman block to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .556 for the game to -.062 for the Eagles.
Game two was tied at one when an OSU error and Eagle kills from Wanner and Ben Wolff gave Juniata a 4-1 lead. Sangrey stopped the run with a kill at 4-2. A Wanner-Wolff block and an Evan Halteman kill opened the lead to four at 6-2. OSU scored the next six points to take an 8-6 lead. The run included three kills from Overman, two Eagle errors and an Overman-Gibson block. At 10-7, a Wanner kill and a Follett ace serve made it 10-9. At 11-10, an Eagle error, two kills from Berzins, one from Sangrey and a Kehoe ace serve opened a 16-10 lead. Juniata produced a 7-2 run to trail, 18-17. At 19-18, a Sangrey kill and an Eagle error gave OSU a 21-18 lead. Juniata closed to 22-21 off two OSU errors and a Wanner kill. Three kills from Berzins, one from Sangrey and an Eagle error opened a 27-21 Ohio State lead. At 28-24, a Juniata error made it 29-24 with OSU serving game point. A Vrooman kill stopped the game point at 29-25. An Eagle service error ended the game at 30-25 to give Ohio State a 2-0 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .364 for the game to .227 for Juniata.
Juniata broke a one-all tie in game three with kills from Wolff and Follett and an OSU error for a 4-1 lead. A Gibson kill made it 4-2. At 7-5, a Berzins kill cut the Eagle lead to one. A Vrooman kill and two Wanner solo blocks gave Juniata a 10-6 lead. Trailing, 14-10, Buckeye kills from Sangrey and Berzins and an Eagle error made it 14-13. Juniata took the lead to three at 18-15 with a Wanner kill. Three Eagle errors tied the game at 18. Juniata took a 20-19 lead off an OSU error. A Sangrey kill tied the game at 20 and two kills from Gibson gave Ohio State a 22-20 lead. An OSU error and kills from Overman and Berzins made it 24-21, Ohio State. At 26-23, a Wanner kill cut the margin to two. A Heine kill and a Gibson-Heine block opened a 28-24 lead. A Wolff kill cut the margin to 28-25. Ohio State reached match point at 29-25 with a Heine kill. Juniata stopped the match point with a Halteman kill at 29-26. Ohio State, with a Sangrey kill, won the game, 30-26, to win the match, 3-0. The Buckeyes hit .425 for the game to .366 for the Eagles.
For the match, Ohio State hit .432 to .197 for Juniata. The Buckeyes had a 59-41 advantage in kills and a 56-38 margin in assists. OSU’s Kehoe posted a match-high 51 assists while Mike Kraft recorded 34 for Juniata. Each team had two ace serves with OSU’s Kehoe recording a match-high two. Ohio State gave up 14 service errors to 10 for Juniata. Defensively, Ohio State had a 44-38 advantage in digs. Kehoe collected a match-high 13 digs in the contest. At the net, Ohio State had an 8-5 edge in team blocks. Overman posted a match-high four for Ohio State.
Ohio State returns to MIVA league action Friday at 7:30 p.m. when they play at Ball State. The Buckeyes then return home to host St. Francis at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Pete Hanson, Ohio State head coach
On John Klanac’s thumb injury
“He jammed it pretty good Thursday against George Mason. It was the thumb he inured previously. It’s just a precautionary thing right now. He’ll get four or five days of rest to let the swelling go down, but he should be good to go Friday. It’s just a precautionary measure.”
On compensating for Klanac’s absence
“We had Nick Gibson in Klanac’s spot today. Nick played solid, he played steady. He served well and blocked well. He stayed with the game plan. Steven Kehoe, our setter, also did a nice job of getting some other guys involved without Klanac there.”
On rallying in the third set
“It can be difficult to come back after a 10 minute break to either keep the momentum or fight your way back in. We were pretty pumped up, and made some nice plays towards the end. Juniata had a lot of energy but we were able to close late and get ahead of them.
On the overall match
“I though overall we played a pretty good match. We did some nice things offensively the first two games. In the third set we blocked a few good shots to get back in the game. We got into some bad situations, but we picked it up defensively.”
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