April 11, 2014

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s volleyball team issued the first blow against No.1 Loyola, winning the opening set 25-19 before the Ramblers (24-1, 14-0 MIVA) took the final three frames and the match (25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 22-25).

Redshirt junior Andrew Lutz came up just one dig shy of his third double-double this season, finishing with a team-high 13 kills and nine digs. Freshman Miles Johnson joined Lutz in the double-digit kills club Friday night, putting away a dozen attacks while swinging at a .269 clip (12-5-26). It marks Lutz’ 15th match with 10 or kills this season, and the eighth such performance for Johnson. Redshirt freshman Driss Guessous was Ohio State’s most efficient attacker, posting a .308 hitting percentage (7-3-13).

Defensively, the Buckeyes (11-15, 6-8) doubled up Loyola in blocks, 10-5. Junior Michael Henchy and reigning MIVA Defensive Player of the Week Dustan Neary led the way up front, each getting in on five blocks.

Ohio State wasted little time getting out in front, seizing the first three points of the match. The Buckeyes then slowly stretched the lead to seven points at 20-13 before a three-point Rambler run forced head coach Pete Hanson to burn a timeout. Ohio State burst out of the break in action by grabbing five of the next eight points and clinching a 25-19 first set victory.

A quartet of Buckeyes terminated three balls in the set while the OSU defense limited Loyola to a .143 hitting efficiency.

Despite a three-swings-three-kills effort from Guessous in the second stanza, the Ramblers evened it up one set apiece with a 25-21 triumph. Loyola moved ahead for its first lead at 4-3 and did not trail again until a kill by Lutz started off the fourth frame to give Ohio State a 1-0 advantage. Loyola’s extended run in the lead lasted throughout a 25-19 win in set three.

Ohio State held an edge as late as 21-20 in set number four before a pair of LU kills bookended two Buckeye attack errors, pushing the Ramblers up 24-21. Johnson buried one more kill, his sixth of the set, before Loyola was able to close it out 25-22.

Next up for Ohio State is postseason play and the MIVA Quarterfinals. The Buckeyes will hit the road and play sometime between April 17-19. Stay tuned to for official date, time, location and opponent.