March 31, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 1 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team secured a Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season title for the 26th time in school history, clinching the trophy with a straight-sets win (25-17, 29-27, 25-18) over McKendree (9-17, 4-9 MIVA). The Buckeyes are now 24-2 overall and 13-0 in conference play this season. Ohio State also extended its winning streak to 28 consecutive matches versus MIVA opponents.
Ohio State’s 26 MIVA regular season championships are the most in league history, five trophies clear of Ball State’s 21 conference crowns.
Miles Johnson and Nicolas Szerszen combined for 35 of 45 OSU kills, attacking .508 as a duo. Johnson averaged seven kills per set, hitting .486 while Szerszen attacked .542 on his 14 kills. Both Buckeyes added multiple aces to their stat line as well. The pair of pin hitters were responsible for a total of 42 points.
Set 1: The first lead of more than one point didn’t come until 9-7 as four lead changes and seven tied scores filled the first 15 points of the evening. Ohio State would maintain the upper hand for the remainder of the set, leaning heavily on five kills apiece from Johnson and Szerszen in a 25-17 triumph.
Set 2: Johnson exploded for a dozen kills in the second stanza, bouncing 12 balls with just one error on 20 attempts (.550). He stepped up when his team needed him the most, recording four kills after the set spilled past the 25-point mark. Two Johnson kills fended off McKendree set-point opportunities and the final termination was good for point number 29, sending the Buckeyes into intermission leading two-sets-to-none.
Set 3: Szerszen lifted the Scarlet & Gray to victory in the third, crushing six kills on errorless attacks to go along with five digs and two aces. The score went back-and-forth early on before a 9-4 OSU run closed out the night, 25-18.
These same two squads meet up again Saturday night in another 7 p.m. ET clash at St. John Arena.