Jan. 29, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 7 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team opened Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association play by recording a fifth straight sweep, going on the road to defeat Quincy University (4-5) in three sets (25-21, 25-13, 25-23). The Buckeyes 15th consecutive set victory moved their season match record to 6-2.
Ohio State has outscored its last five opponents by a combined 106 points, averaging a scoring margin of 20-plus points per match.
Friday night marked the 50th OSU triumph over the Hawks in school history. Ohio State has surrendered only 14 sets overall en route to a 50-2 edge in the all-time Quincy series. The Buckeyes have left Quincy, Ill., as victors in 20 of 22 road contests.
Christy Blough returned to the lineup after missing the last two contests. The junior setter delivered 40 assists in steering Ohio State’s offense to a .451 attacking rate (45-8-82). Blough connected for double-digit kills with a pair of teammates, 19 for Nicolas Szerszen and 10 for Christian Franceschi. Both Buckeye attackers swung at a .500 clip and contributed four digs apiece on the defensive side. Speaking of defense, Gabriel Domecus paced all comers with 10 digs as the OSU libero.
Ohio State attacked no worse than .353 in any set and posted a side-out percentage of 82 percent.
Szerszen came out sizzling, blasting eight kills on 12 errorless attempts in the opening frame. Despite Szerszen’s elite efforts, the Hawks held an edge as late as 17-16. Miles Johnson followed with a kill and solo block on back-to-back points, however, to push Ohio State ahead for the remainder of the set. Szerszen’s eighth put-away was the final dagger, wrapping it up 25-21.
Ohio State’s upper-hand extended throughout the entire second stanza after grabbing the first four points and sailing to a 25-13 winner; capped off again by a Szerszen kill for the 25th point.
The Hawks took flight in set number three, hitting .387 and totaling 16 kills. Ohio State matched the offensive output though, bouncing 16 kills as well. The team statistical stat lines were nearly identical across the board sans a 2-0 service ace advantage in favor of the Buckeyes. Aces from Johnson and Szerszen proved monumental as Ohio State escaped with a 25-23 final ledger.
The Scarlet & Gray are back at it Saturday (Jan. 30), rolling further west to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., for an 8 p.m. ET start.