April 29, 2000
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Number one seed Ohio State (24-3) made it 10 wins in a row with a 15-12, 15-10, 15-4 victory over second seed Indiana-Purdue (21-8) to win the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tournament Saturday night in St. John Arena. The victory gives Ohio State the Midwest bid to the NCAA National Championship, April 4 & 6 in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Ohio State returns to the NCAA Championship for the 12th time. OSU’s last appearance in the Championship was in 1993.
Jose Rivera scored a team-high 20 kills in 31 attempts with no errors (.645) to lead Ohio State. Four other Buckeyes had double-figure kill performances. Chris Fash had 17 kills, Rene’ Esteves 15 (.737) and Pieter Olree and Colin McMillan (.591) 14 each. IPFW’s Hector Soto scored a match-high 26 kills for Indiana-Purdue with Jeff Ptak adding 14 and Scott Lane 13.
Indiana-Purdue opened game one with an ace serve by Chris Gisslen. Four IPFW errors and an ace by Esteves put OSU up 5-1. Kills by Ptak and Gisslen and three OSU errors put Indiana-Purdue up 6-5. OSU tied the game at six with an Olree kill. A Ptak kill and three OSU errors put IPFW up 10-6. Four Ft. Wayne errors tied the match at 10. Ohio State took an 11-10 lead off an IPFW error but two OSU errors returned the lead to Ft. Wayne, 12-11. A Rivera kill tied the game at 12 and a block by Fash and McMillan put Ohio State up 13-12. The Buckeyes closed the game with back-to-back kills by Rivera for win the game 15-12. Ohio State hit .288 for the game to .233 for Indiana-Purdue. IPFW’s Soto had 11 kills in the game while Rivera and McMillan had six each for OSU.
Errors by both teams tied game two at one. Two Ft. Wayne errors and kills by Rivera and Fash along with an ace serve by Olree gave OSU at 6-1 lead. An OSU error, a block by Gisslen and Soto and kills by Gisslen and Soto closed the OSU lead to 6-5. A Rivera kill gave OSU a 7-5 lead but a block by Angel Ruiz and Ptak made it 7-6. Kills by Angel Aja and Olree put OSU ahead 9-6. The lead was 9-7 after a Mike Cummings kill but an IPFW error made the lead 10-7. An OSU error cut the lead to 10-8 but a Fash kill put the lead at 11-8. A Soto kill and an OSU error cut the lead to 11-10. A Fash kill expanded the OSU lead to 12-10. Olree made it 13-10 with a kill and an IPFW error set game point at 14-10. A Lane kill stopped the game point but a Fash kill returned the serve to OSU for game point two where an IPFW error closed the game at 15-10. Ohio State hit .439 for the game to .404 for Ft. Wayne. Soto had 13 kills in the game while OSU’s Fash had 10.
IPFW opened a 2-0 lead in game three off an OSU error and a Lane kill. Kills by Esteves and Rivera tied the game at two and Rivera’s next kill put OSU up 3-2. An Esteves kill made it 4-2 while an OSU error cut the lead to 4-3. Another OSU error tied the game at four. A Fash kill and three IPFW errors gave OSU an 8-4 lead. Three more Ft. Wayne errors opened an 11-4 lead. Back-to-back ace serves by McMillan and a Rivera kill set game/match point for OSU at 14-4. An OSU service error stopped OSU’s first match point. The serve returned to Ohio State with an Esteves kill. Todd Hill entered the game for the Buckeyes and collected the match-winning kill at 15-4. The Buckeyes hit .618 for the game to .250 for Indiana-Purdue. Rivera had eight kills in 11 swings in the game while Lane had six for IPFW.
Ohio State hit .421 for the match to .298 for Indiana-Purdue. The Buckeyes had an 87-75 advantage in kills. OSU outblocked Indiana-Purdue 11-10 with McMillan recording a match-high nine assist blocks. The Buckeyes had a 55-41 advantage in digs with Rivera and Ross McLain collecting a match-high 13 digs each.
Named to the MIVA All-Tournament team were Chris Gisslen and Hector Soto of Indiana-Purdue and Buckeyes Jose Rivera, Colin McMillan, Rene’ Esteves and Pieter Olree. OSU setter Angel Aja was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Pairings for the NCAA National Championship will be announced Sunday. Semifinals are Thursday, May 4 with the Championship match on Saturday, May 6.
MIVA Finals – Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne vs. Ohio State – Player/Coach Quotes
IPFW head coach Arnie Ball
“My congratulations to coach Hanson and his entire team. They played a great, consistent match tonight. But I am disappointed we lost.”
Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson
“I have an ear-to-ear grin. It’s very nice to see those kids doing the same thing. That’s what this is all about. We’ve worked with them and hoped to see them execute and make things happen. I can’t tell you how happy I am for them.
“Our three seniors would not be denied. Jose (Rivera) was all-world tonight. He has always had that ability. But tonight he was as focused as I ever have seen him.
“We made sure not to look farther than tonight. We didn’t even talk about the other games. We knew this would be the toughest hurdle, considering our recent history with IPFW.
(On the NCAA Championships) “That will be the fun match for us. This was the one with all the problems and pressures. We got the 500-pound gorilla off our back tonight.
“This game will help us tremendously (next week). We put them through the meat grinder this year to see how they would respond. No coach in his right mind would put his players through the California trip that we played. But our players came through with flying colors. We think we’ve done the things to make them better.”
OSU’s Jose Rivera
“This is my fifth year and we’ve come close to advancing a few times but choked each time. Everyone seemed to want it more this year. We came in confidant tonight, knowing we were the better team.
“I was more focused tonight. I focused only on winning. I didn’t expect anything less.
(On the NCAA Championships) “There will be four good teams out there. We’re going there to compete, but our goal is to win a national championship.”