Jan. 2, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State Men’s Volleyball officially opened the 2016 season facing an international opponent in Ontario’s McMaster University. The Marauders started their season on October 1 and left The States with a 15-1 record in hand after topping the Buckeyes in four sets (25-20, 24-26, 25-18, 25-16) Saturday (Jan. 2) night in St. John Arena. Ohio State (0-1) is ranked sixth nationally in the NCAA while McMaster sits atop the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national rankings.
Blake Leeson and Josh Tublin both made their Buckeye debuts with Leeson receiving the starting nod at middle blocker. Leeson connected on six kills at a .333 attacking pace in his first collegiate contest. Tublin entered the match as a serving specialist in the third frame.
Miles Johnson tied a pair of Marauders for the match high with 13 kills while Christy Blough posted a double-double, dishing out 33 assists and digging 10 balls. Gabriel Domecus wasn’t far behind, gathering nine digs on the night. The Buckeyes totaled four team blocks and Driss Guessous was in on all of them. He tallied two block assists and two solo stuffs. In his second career OSU start, Peter Edwards accumulated nine kills, five digs and a teamed up with Guessous for a pair of rejections.
The opening set was tightly-contested throughout, tied up as late as 18-18 following an attack error by McMaster’s Stephen Maar. The Marauders would go on to seize seven of the next nine points though to take the set, 25-20.
Neither squad could muster an advantage of more than two points in the second set’s entirety and the scoreboard flashed a tied tally on 16 different occasions. The final deadlock came at 24-24 prior to back-to-back Buckeye blocks. Edwards and Guessous combined for the first stonewall followed immediately by a set-clinching solo stuff from Guessous to close the door, 26-24, in favor of the Scarlet & Gray.
McMaster’s first of four blocks began the third set and the Marauders never looked back in a 25-18 triumph. Frame number four ended in a similar result, 25-16 to McMaster, after an 11-4 run mid-set elevated the Marauders to an insurmountable 19-13 edge.
Ohio State takes to the road for its next three matches. The Buckeyes plat at Princeton on Tuesday (Jan. 5); then face UCLA and USC at Penn State in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge on Thursday-Friday (Jan. 7-8).