COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 13th-ranked Ohio State (12-7 overall) men’s volleyball team defeated Mt. Olive (6-2), 3-0 (30-21, 30-22, 30-18) Sunday afternoon in St. John Arena. Ohio State’s Nick Gibson posted a match-high 19 points with a career-high 18 kills (.640) and two assist blocks. Ted Schoenfeldt added 12.5 points with 11 kills (.409), one ace serve and one assist blocks while John Tholen contributed 10.5 points with a career-high seven kills, two solo blocks and three assist blocks. Mt. Olive’s Christaan Rombaut had a team-high 14 points with 13 kills (.500) and one solo block. Noel Garcia added 10 points with nine kills and one solo block.

With game one tied at one, two OSU errors and a Camilo Guerci kill gave Mt. Olive a 4-1 lead. Trailing, 6-3, a Gibson kill, a Trojan error and a Mike Stewart-Gibson block tied the game at six. Tied at nine, a Tholen-Schoenfeldt block gave OSU a 10-9 lead. A Schoenfeldt kill and a Trojan error opened a 12-9 Buckeye lead. After an OSU error made it 12-10, a Jason Tobkin kill and two Mt. Olive errors opened a 15-10 OSU lead. At 27-21, a Gibson kill and a Trojan error gave Ohio State game point at 29-21. The Buckeyes won the game, 30-21, with an ace serve from Schoenfeldt to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .444 for the game to .118 for Mt. Olive.

With game two tied at three, two kills from Stewart and a Trojan error gave Ohio State a 6-3 lead. Adam Miracle, with a kill, made it 6-4. Two Mt. Olive errors made it 8-4. After a Jose Lanier kill made it 8-5, kills from Schoenfeldt and Tobkin, two Steven Kehoe ace serves and a Trojan error gave OSU a 13-5 lead. The Buckeyes held the lead reaching game point at 29-19 off a Mt. Olive error. Kills from Rombaut and Garcia and a Garcia solo block stopped three game points to cut the margin to 29-22. Ohio State won the game, 30-22, with a Tholen kill to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .520 for the game to .333 for Mt. Olive.

Game three saw the Buckeyes, behind the serving of Kehoe, score the first seven points of the match. The run began with a Schoenfeldt kill and a Tholen solo block. A Kehoe ace serve and a Tholen kill made it 4-0. The run continued with a Tholen-Tobkin block, a Kehoe ace serve and a Tholen kill. An OSU error and a Guerci-Alex Hoekstra block made it 7-2. Two kills from Schoenfeldt took the lead to seven at 9-2. The Buckeyes held the lead reaching match point at 29-16 off a Trojan error. Mt. Olive stopped two match points with kills from Miracle. Ohio State closed out the game, 30-18 with a Dale Freier kill to win the match, 3-0. The Buckeyes hit .600 for the game to .192 for Mt. Olive.

Ohio State hit .519 for the match to .215 for Mt. Olive. OSU had a 49-42 advantage in kills and a 45-38 margin in assists. OSU’s Kehoe posted a team-high 31 assists with Kyle Lawrence added seven and Derek Kues two. Hoekstra collected a match-high 36 for Mt. Olive. The Buckeyes had five ace serves in the match with Kehoe recording a career-high four. Mt. Olive did not score an ace and had 12 service errors to 10 for OSU. Defensively, Ohio State had a 23-15 advantage in digs. OSU libero Rhett Cash recorded a match-high seven digs with Mt. Olive’s Garcia collecting a team-high six. At the net, the Buckeyes had a seven-to-three margin in team blocks. OSU’s Tholen had a match-high five total blocks to equal his career high with a career-high two solo blocks and three assist blocks.

Ohio State returns to action in two weeks when they play at ninth-ranked Penn State on Sunday, March 21 and at George Mason on Monday, March 22.

Pete Hanson, Ohio State head coach

On Ted Schoenfeldt’s leadership

“He means a lot. He’s an experienced guy. He has been chosen as one of the captains this year, and he has kind of been through all of this for a number of years. Whether he’s on the court playing all the time or just at practice or a support role, Teddy has been real good about supporting the guys that are out there and communicating with them. That’s one of the things that he’s learned over time and I just think that he’s done a nice job with that.”

On Schoenfeldt’s academic ability

“We’re always going to try to get good quality guys in the classroom and on the volleyball court and that sort of thing. Teddy’s academic quality of work is based on his abilities and he places a high priority on that. We have a lot of kids who do that, and he certainly has done a great job in the classroom also.”

On Schoenfeldt’s position change

“When he first got here we had him kind of hitting middle in his first two years and last year he made that transition from the middle hitter to an opposite. I thought it really fit him well. He’s still playing that position, and Shawn Sangrey is playing a lot in that role also. Ted had been dealing with some shoulder problems at the tail end of last year and coming into the start of this year. It’s nice to have two quality guys. If one guy is struggling, we don’t hesitate to put the other guy in and that’s a real nice situation as coach.”

On Schoenfeldt’s athletic strengths

“I think Teddy is real good from the end line serving the ball. I think he’s one of our better spikers and I think those are the two areas. Shawn does a nice job at the net as blocker and I think Shawn’s ball control may be a touch better, but they’re both really good offensive players.”

On tonight’s younger lineup

“We were hoping we were going to be able to do that, and that was nice to see guys like Nick Gibson and Jason Tobkin and Teddy have an opportunity to play a lot and just stay out there and keep working through some things. We need Nick Gibson to continue to learn what we want to get accomplished, and I thought he had a real good night. He’s going to be a good player for us down the road and hopefully this will be something he can build on.”

On tonight’s play

“Overall, I thought it was real steady. Coming into this match we really didn’t know what these guys were all about. We had no scouting report, we were playing blind, so we said, ‘hey lets focus on us. On the six guys in the scarlet and gray, and lets do the things were good at. And that’s to serve, receive and get the ball to our setter and let our setter run our offense and let our hitters go kill the ball.’  We only made nine spike errors and we hit over .500 and I thought those guys did a nice job. Steve (Kehoe) played well. The passers were good and Rhett did a nice job as libero. It was nice to see those young guys get a chance to play.”

On having two weeks off

“One of those weeks is the week of finals, so we won’t get much practice in there, but we do have this next week and we’re going to practice four out of five days and continue to work on our offense. You know, you’ve seen us where we can be really good and then we struggle at times. It’s just a consistency thing with our setters kind of being on the same page, so we’re going to try to spend a lot of individual time over these four days with certain groups of guys and Steve just trying to work out whether its communication or just knowing what guys want to do at the right time and hopefully we can get that done.”


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