Jan. 30, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team extended its consecutive set victories streak to 18 in a row with a 25-18, 25-21, 25-18 sweep at Lindenwod University (2-5). Ohio State exits the weekend with a 7-2 overall mark and 2-0 record in MIVA action.
The Buckeyes have outscored its last half dozen opponents by a combined 126 points, averaging a scoring margin of 20-plus points per match. Saturday night’s triumph is Ohio State’s seventh in as many all-time meetings with the Lions, dropping just three sets since the first clash with Lindenwood in January 2013.
Christy Blough navigated his second offensive outburst of the weekend, lifting Ohio State to 35 kills at a .492 attacking rate. Nicolas Szerszen capitalized the most, putting away 11 kills on 15 errorless connections with Blough. Christian Franceschi, Miles Johnson and Blake Leeson each tallied six or more kills. Leeson was the most efficient, terminating six of nine attempts with no errors while Franceschi and Johnson combined for an additional six points with five service aces and a pair of block assists.
Ohio State attacked .570-plus in both of its 25-18 winners, including a .579 effort in the opening frame. Szerszen opened the match with a service ace and bounced all four attack attempts as the Buckeyes led from start to finish. Lindenwood’s service was completely stymied, neutralized by an OSU side-out percentage of 94 percent (17 of 18).
Lindenwood’s only lead of the entire contest came at 1-0 to start the second stanza thanks to an OSU setting error. The Buckeyes ensured their deficit was short-lived, however, running off the next seven tallies with Szerszen at the service stripe. Blough would later deliver an elongated stay at the service line as well when Ohio State broke up a 20-all tie to secure set number two, 25-21.
Johnson buried three aces in the third, complimenting a .571 OSU hitting efficiency in Lindenwood’s swan song.
Conference play arrives in Columbus next week with a rare Thursday-Saturday combo platter. The Buckeyes will first play host to IPFW on Feb. 4 before welcoming in the Ball State Cardinals 48 hours later.