Columbus, Ohio – The 13th-ranked Ohio State (18-7 overall, 10-1 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) men’s volleyball squad defeated Lewis (16-9, 5-5), 3-0 (32-30, 30-25, 30-21) Saturday night in St. John Arena to move into a first place tie in the MIVA with 11th-ranked Loyola-Chicago (18-4, 10-1). Both squads close out conference play against 15th-ranked Ball State (17-9, 6-4) next week with Ohio State hosting Ball State Friday and Loyola-Chicago playing at Ball State Saturday. Ohio State’s Shawn Sangrey posted a match-high 28 points against the Flyers with a match-high 25 kills (.500) and three ace serves. John Klanac (.632) added 14.5 points with 14 kills and one assist block. Nathan Klaas posted a team-high 13.5 points for the Flyers with 12 kills (.385), one ace serve and one assist block. Ian Karbiener contributed 13 points with 11 kills (.292) and two ace serves.
In a tight game one that saw 12 ties and four lead changes, Ohio State trailed 4-3 when a Ted Schoenfeldt kill tied the game at four. Back-to-back kills from Jason Tobkin gave Ohio State a 6-4 lead. With Lewis trailing, 13-11, an Aaron Flick kill and a Klaas ace serve tied the game at 13. A Buckeye error and a Mike Iandolo-Flick block gave the Flyers a 15-13 lead. Ohio State trailed, 20-18, before a Flyer error and a kill from Sangrey tied the game at 20. Tied at 22, a kill by Karbiener and an OSU error gave Lewis a 24-22 lead. The Buckeyes trailed, 28-26, when a Klanac kill and a Flyer error tied the game at 28. A Klaas kill gave Lewis a 29-28 lead and serving game point. A Flyer error tied the game at 29. Lewis, with a kill from Klaas, took a 30-29 lead serving its second game point. The Buckeyes tied the game at 30 with a Kevin Heine kill. A solo block from Tobkin gave Ohio State a 31-30 lead, serving game point. The Buckeyes won the game, 32-30, with a Heine-Tobkin block to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .371 for the game to .359 for the Flyers.
Tied at one in game two, a Flyer error and a Sangrey kill gave Ohio State a 3-1 lead. Two Karbiener kills and one Sangrey made the score, 4-3 Buckeyes. Kills from Klanac and Sangrey and two Sangrey ace serves opened an 8-3 Ohio State lead. At 9-5, a Steven Kehoe kill and a Schoenfeldt ace serve made it 11-5. Two kills from Matt Gallik and an OSU error made it 11-8. Leading, 13-10, two Sangrey kills and a Flyer error made the lead six at 16-10. Trailing, 25-19, a Klaas kill, a Gallik-Brian Muesenfechter block and an OSU error cut the OSU lead to three at 25-22. Kills from Sangrey and Klaas made it 26-23. A Flyer error and a kill from Sangrey made it 28-23, OSU. A Muesenfechter kill cut the margin to four at 28-24. Sangrey, with a kill set game point at 29-24. A Klaas kill stopped the game point at 29-25. Ohio State won the game, 30-25, with a Klanac kill to take a 2-0 lead in the match. OSU hit .519 for the game to .481 for Lewis.
Ohio State opened game three with two Sangrey kills and a Flyer error for a 3-0 lead. At 5-2, kills from Gallik and Karbiener cut the lead to one at 5-4. A Sangrey kill made it 6-4. An OSU error and a Karbiener ace serve tied the game at six. At 12-all, Buckeye kills from Klanac and Schoenfeldt and a Sangrey ace serve opened a 15-12 OSU lead. A Buckeye error made it 15-13. Kills from Sangrey and Kehoe made it 17-13 forcing a Lewis time out. A Tobkin kill, a Flyer error and a Kehoe solo block expanded the lead to 20-13. A Buckeye error and an ace serve from Karbiener made it 20-15. Two Flyer errors made it 22-15. Leading, 24-18, a kill from Heine and an Anthony Hock ace serve gave OSU a 26-18 lead. Kills from Muesenfechter and Sangrey moved the score to 27-19. A Klanac kill and an OSU error made it 28-20. Ohio State reached match point at 29-20 with a Sangrey kill. A Karbiener kill stopped the match point at 29-21. A Flyer service error ended the game at 30-21 to give Ohio State a 3-0 victory in the match. The Buckeyes hit .593 for the game to .071 for Lewis.
Ohio State hit .483 for the match with Lewis hitting .309. The Buckeyes had a 55-42 margin in kills and a 50-37 advantage in assists. OSU’s Kehoe posted a match-high 45 while Iandolo had 32 for the Flyers. The Buckeyes had a 6-4 edge in ace serves with Sangrey recording a match-high three. OSU gave up 18 service errors to 17 for the Flyers. Defensively, Ohio State had a 32-16 advantage in digs with Buckeye Mik Berzins posting a match-high 10. At the net, Lewis had a 7-5 advantage in team blocks. Flyer Muesenfechter posted a match-high five assist blocks.
Ohio State closes out the regular season by hosting 15th-ranked Ball State (17-9, 6-4) Friday and St. Francis (12-13, 4-6 EIVA) Saturday in 7 p.m. matches in St. John Arena.
Pete Hanson, Ohio State head coach
On keys to tonight‘s win against Lewis
“The first positive was that we found a way to win game one. Lewis played a great game of volleyball in game one; they gave us everything we could handle. Being down late and making some nice plays at the end gave the advantage to us to win it 32-30. It really took some pressure off. If we had gotten down one game to zero, the way they were playing, they could have rolled it. Getting that first win was important to continue the momentum in game two and once we had them down 2-0, as long as we played good, it was going to be hard for them to catch up.”
On last night‘s match against Loyola and staying consistent
“I think our offense has been real, real good. When you hit .483 as a team that’s a high number. Our serving has been pretty good. We’re serving the ball well and when we’re putting it in, we’re putting it in with pace and putting teams off balance. Last night we were a better blocking team. Tonight, we didn’t block as many balls, but credit that to Lewis, they were pretty good. We’re just real good offensively right now.”
On improving as a team heading into the tournament
“We’ve continued to just impress upon the kids that they need to improve from week to week from day to day and match to match. We’ve won eight in a row and we seem to be finding our rhythm and we seem to be better at the things we talk about every day in practice, and that’s blocking well, playing good defense, serving the ball with aggression and being good with our side-out offense. It seems to be coming together.”
On next Friday‘s match against Ball State
“I’m sure by Friday the guys will be jazzed, they’ll be ready to go. They know what is on the line. It is not only a league title, but it’s also a home court advantage throughout the playoffs. It’s really huge considering we could have to go to Loyola. They know what is on the line and I think they will prepare like they did this past week for Loyola. We’ll be ready to go. Ball State is a rivalry game just because of the history between the two programs over the years and it will be a good match. There is no doubt the kids will be ready.”