COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 13th-ranked Ohio State (9-5 overall, 5-1 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) men’s volleyball team defeated fifth-ranked (Div. III) Carthage (10-5, 4-0 Midwest-III Volleyball Conference), 3-0 (30-23, 30-23, 30-19) Friday night in St. John Arena. OSU’s Ted Schoenfeldt and Mike Berzins shared match-high honors with 10.5 points each. Schoenfeldt and Berzins each had seven kills, two ace serves and three assist blocks while playing in two games each. Tyler Frings recorded a team-high 10 points for Carthage with five kills, two ace serves and six assist blocks.

The squads opened game one with seven ties and seven lead changes. Carthage held an 8-7 lead before their error tied the game at eight. Two Red Men errors gave OSU a 10-8 lead. At 19-16, a Carthage error and a John Klanac kill opened a 21-16 Buckeye lead. At 25-20, a kill from Frings and an OSU error made it 25-22. A John Tholen kill and a Schoenfeldt ace serve gave the Buckeyes a 27-22 lead. An OSU error made it 27-23. OSU kills from Shawn Sangrey and Schoenfeldt gave Ohio State game point at 29-23. A Carthage error ended the game at 30-23 to give Ohio State a 1-0 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .280 for the game to .071 for Carthage.

With Ohio State trailing, 8-6 in game two, the Buckeyes scored the next five points to lead, 11-8. The run included a Klanac kill, two Berzins-Kevin Heine blocks, a Steven Kehoe ace serve and a Sangrey-Heine block. Carthage cut the margin to one at 12-11 with a Randy Hansen kill. A Klanac kill and an error by the Red Men gave OSU a 14-11 lead. At 18-16, a John Condon kill again cut the OSU lead to one at 18-17. The Buckeyes began a six-point run with a Sangrey kill, a Klanac-Heine block and a Heine kill as Carthage called a time out. The run continued with an ace serve from Berzins, a Sangrey kill and a Heine-Sangrey block gave Ohio State a 24-17 lead. Leading, 28-22, a Berzins kill gave Ohio State game point at 29-22. A Condon-Frings block stopped the game point at 29-23. The Buckeyes closed out the game at 30-23 with a kill from Berzins to take a 2-0 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .281 for the game to .161 for Carthage.

Ohio State opened game three with a Heine kill, an ace serve from Kehoe and a Carthage error for a 3-0 lead. Carthage made it 3-1 with a kill from Alex Mendez. Buckeye kills from Schoenfeldt and Berzins and a Red Men error gave Ohio State a 6-1 lead. Carthage would cut the lead to two at 7-5 off a Buckeye error. Ohio State would hold the lead at 24-18 before a five-point run gave the buckeyes a 29-18 lead and serving match point. The run included kills from Schoenfeldt and Mike Stefani and three Carthage errors. The Red Men stopped the match point at 29-19 with a Mendez-Frings block. A Stefani kill closed out the game at 30-19 to give Ohio State a 3-0 win in the match. The Buckeyes hit .458 in the game to .036 for Carthage.

Ohio State hit .333 for the match to .092 for Carthage. The Buckeyes had a 44-32 advantage in kills and a 42-29 margin in assists. OSU’s Kehoe posted a match-high 40 assists with Condon recording 28 for Carthage. The Buckeyes recorded seven ace serves to three for the Red Men. Kehoe, Schoenfeldt and Berzins for the Buckeyes and Frings for Carthage shared match-high honors with two each. The Red Men gave up 15 service errors to 13 for the Buckeyes. Defensively, OSU had a 23-15 edge in digs. Hansen posted a match-high seven digs for Carthage while OSU’s Klanac had a team-high six. At the net, Ohio State had a 10.5 to eight advantage in team blocks. Heine recorded a match-high eight assist blocks for the Buckeyes with Frings recording a team-high six for Carthage.

Next week Ohio State travels to Springfield, Mass. to compete in the Volleyball Hall of Fame/Morgan Classic. The Buckeyes play at 6 p.m. Friday against George Mason and will face either Springfield or UC Santa Barbara Saturday (6/8 p.m.)

 Pete Hanson, Ohio State head coach

On learning from the Loyola loss and applying it tonight
“What we saw against Loyola was that our transition offense wasn’t very good and we’ve spent the last three days really harping on the guys about transitioning. When we dig a ball we need to get back and work harder and get a better quality swing and we were really good at that tonight. What we failed to be good at tonight was kind of our first swing offense or our side-out offense when we’re receiving serves.  I thought we took some bad swings. We just made some mental errors, hit some balls out of bounds and we didn’t do a good job there. That should always be at a high level.  We shouldn’t have to go back and work on that because that’s where we spend most of our time practicing. So that was a little frustrating, but well get better at it.”

On John Klanac’s thumb injury
“He’s fine. He’s been okay. They’ve gradually reduced the tape job and the brace so he’s almost back to normal.”

On ending the third period handedly
“I thought we kind of physically took over at the net in terms of blocking some balls and spiking some balls that they couldn’t return. To allow those guys to hang around like they did in the first two games was a lot about our play or lack of good play and that was kind of the frustrating part. I thought we played well in game three and we forced them into a lot of unforced errors and when you do that you’re going to get a score like 30-19.”

On a rotating lineup
“We needed to take a match like this and get some kids some playing time. We needed to get Mike Stefani, Nick Gibson, Mike Stewart, John Tholen and all those kinds of guys in, so it was good that we played through it. I would have liked to have played at a little bit higher level, but when you are rolling lineups like that you are going to have the potential for some miss communications. But for the most part they did a nice job.”

On the teams overall performance
“I thought it was okay.  I’m going to go in and ask the kids ‘where would you grade us?’ As a coach I say it’s about a B-.  We talked about ‘hey, we’re kind of the middle of our quarter here and what are our current grades and where do we want to get to?’  We want to get to where were playing A level volleyball.  We’re not there yet, but we’re getting better. For tonight, I say B, B-, but it wasn’t a bad performance.”

On the upcoming Volleyball Hall of Fame/Morgan Classic
“That’s a nice tournament.  It’s put on by the Volleyball Hall of Fame and which is up in Holyoke, Massachusetts about 10 miles from Springfield. Springfield hosts the tournament and we’re going to hopefully get a chance to play two really good teams. We have George Mason the first night and if we’re fortunate enough to win well probably play Santa Barbara the second night. That would be a great match for us to just continue to put our guys under some pressure and get better but we have to take care of business first against George Mason. It’s always a quality event. The crowds will be great, they support really well and it’s going to be a fun time.”

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