Columbus, Ohio – The 10th-ranked and top-seeded Ohio State (21-7 overall) men’s volleyball squad won a 3-1 (30-24, 27-30, 30-28, 30-27) victory over 13th-ranked (tie) and No. 4 seed Ball State (19-11) in a semifinal match of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tournament hosted at Ohio State. The Buckeyes advance to the tournament championship match at 7 p.m. Saturday in St. John Arena against No. 2 seed and 15th-ranked Loyola-Chicago (20-5), a 3-0 (30-26, 30-23, 30-18) winner over Lewis (19-10) in the other semifinal match hosted by Loyola. Ohio State’s Shawn Sangrey recorded a match-high 29.5 points against the Cardinals with a match-high 27 kill, one ace serve and three assist blocks. John Klanac added 16 points with 14 kills, one ace serve and two assist blocks. Ball State’s Matt Sprague recorded a team-high 16.5 points with 14 kills and five assist blocks. J.D. Gasparovic contributed 15.5 points with nine kills, three solo blocks and seven assists.
Ohio State opened game one with a 3-0 lead off a Cardinal error, a Jason Tobkin kill and a Steven Kehoe ace serve. At 6-2, a 5-1 Ball State run tied the game at seven. A cardinal error, a kill from Kehoe and a Tobkin solo block put Ohio State ahead, 10-7. At 24-21OSU, a Matt Sprague kill, an Ethan Pheister solo block and an OSU error cut the Buckeye lead to one at 24-23. A Sangrey kill and a Kehoe solo block gave OSU a 26-23 lead. A Buckeye error made it 26-24. A Sangrey kill and two Cardinal errors made it 29-24 with OSU serving game point. Sangrey, with a kill, ended the game at 30-24 to give Ohio State a 1-0 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .273 for the game to .091 for Ball State.
Game two saw a 10-9 Ohio State lead expanded to 13-9 with a Ted Schoenfeldt kill, a Sangrey ace serve and a Cardinal error. Ball State responded with a Sprague kill, a Larry Wrather–Anders Nelson block and a Nelson-Pheister block to trail by one at 13-12. Trailing 20-18, a Sprague kill and a Nelson-Wrather block tied the game at 20. Buckeye kills from Sangrey and Schoenfeldt and a Cardinal error made it 23-20, OSU. At 24-21, a Buckeye error, a Wrather kill and a Gasparovic-Eric Schulte block tied the game at 24. A Wrather kill and a Wrather-Gasparovic block gave Ball State a 26-24 lead. OSU tied the game at 26 with a Kevin Heine kill and a Tobkin solo block. An OSU error and a Sprague-Gasparovic block made it 28-26 Cardinals. A Ball State error cut the lead to one at 28-27. A Sprague kill set game point at 29-27 and he won the game with a kill at 30-27 to tie the match at one game each. Ball State hit .235 for the game to .179 for Ohio State.
Game three featured 14 ties and five lead changes. Tied at eight, a Sangrey kill and a Sangrey-Heine block gave Ohio State a 10-8 lead. At 11-10, a 4-1 Buckeye run opened a 15-11 lead with two Klanac kill, his ace serve and errors by both teams. At 18-15, a Cardinal error, a kill from Klanac and a Tobkin ace serve made it 21-15. Ball State responded with the next six points to tie the game at 21. The run included an OSU error, a Pheister kill, a Gasparovic block and kill and two kills from Jamion Hartley. At 22-all, a Nelson-Sprague block gave Ball State a 23-22 lead. OSU trailed, 25-24, when a Sangrey kill and a Cardinal error made it 26-25, OSU. Nelson tied the game at 26 with a kill. Two kills from Tobkin made it 28-26, Ohio State. A Cardinal error gave the Buckeyes game point at 29-26. Ball State stopped two game points with a Wrather kill and an OSU error at 29-28. Ohio State, with a Heine kill, won the game, 30-28, to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .364 for the game to .281 for Ball State.
Game four saw Ohio State leading, 10-9, when a Sangrey kill and an ace serve from Tobkin made it 12-9. Trailing, 14-11, Ball State score the next five points to take a 16-14 lead. The run included two Gasparovic kills, one from Sprague, a Gasparovic-Sprague block and an OSU error. Kills from Schoenfeldt and Sprague made it 17-15. Two Cardinal errors, a Kehoe-Schoenfeldt block and a Sangrey kill gave Ohio State a 19-17 lead. A Schulte kill cut the margin to one at 19-18. The squads exchanged points to reach 28-26. A Sprague kill made it 28-27. Back-to-back kills from Sangrey closed out the game at 30-27 to give Ohio State a 3-1 victory in the match. OSU’s Sangrey collected 11 of 18 Buckeye kills in the game. Ohio State hit 195 for the game to .086 for Ball State.
For the match, Ohio State hit .247 to .179 for Ball State. The Buckeyes had a 67-49 margin in kills and a 63-42 advantage in assists. OSU’s Kehoe posted 60 assists in the match with BSU’s Pheister recording 38. Ohio State had a 7-3 edge in ace serves with OSU’s Kehoe serving up a match-high three. The Buckeyes gave up 24 service errors to 13 for Ball State. Defensively, the Cardinals had a 40-37 edge in digs. OSU’s Kehoe collected a match-high 12 with Ball State’s Billy Ebel recording 10. At the net, the Cardinals had an 18.5 to 12 margin in team blocks. BSU’s Gasparovic posted a match-high 10 total blocks with three solos and seven assists.