Jan. 16, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 14 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (4-2) ripped 15 service aces, tied for the second most in school history, to sink Limestone College (1-4) in four sets (25-16, 22-25, 25-9, 25-17). Nicolas Szerszen, a true freshman, stuffed the stat sheet with 16 kills, a .750 attacking percentage (16-1-20), nine digs and four aces; all career highs for the dynamic outside hitter.
Despite dropping a set, Ohio State outscored the Saints by a combined 30 points on the night. The Buckeyes held Limestone to 17 or less points in each of the triumphant frames, including a 25-9 drubbing in set number three. Ohio State narrowly missed out on doubling up the Saints in the kills category, putting away 49 kills compared to just 25 Limestone terminations.
The Buckeyes improved upon their MIVA-best aces per set average, posting a smidge under four service bullets per frame in the four-setter. In addition to Szerszen’s four aces, Michael Henchy, Shawn Herron and Alex Judkins each smoked three aces of their own. Ohio State’s team total 15 aces is the most in a match since 2007.
The Buckeyes blocked eight balls in the three winning sets, leading to Limestone hitting efficiencies in the red during two sets; at -.222 in set one and -.071 in the third. Herron, Matt Pohlman and Dustan Neary all got in on four rejections to lead the way.
Henchy bounced a kill for the first point of the evening, giving Ohio State an edge for good in the opening set. After Limestone tied it up at 1-1, Henchy crushed another kill and the Buckeyes remained on the top the rest of the way and cruised 25-16.
Ohio State’s aggressive serving proved costly in set number two though. The Buckeyes committed five service errors, handing Limestone five crucial points from the service stripe. The Saints took advantage and evened the match tally at one set apiece, 25-22.
The Saints’ joy didn’t last long, however, as Ohio State steamrolled them in the third frame, 25-9. Szerszen found hardwood on all six attacks as the Buckeyes swung .545 as a team with a dozen kills on 22 errorless attempts. Pohlman teamed up with Herron (twice) and Neary for three stuffs, suffocating the Limestone attack to a -.071 hitting percentage.
Ohio State kept it rolling in the fourth, puncturing the Saints to the tune of seven service aces. Limestone’s latest lead came at 2-1 before falling victim to the Buckeye service assault. Ohio State won nine of the next 12 tallies and raced to a 25-17 match clincher.
St. John Arena reopens its doors for a pair of non-conference tilts next weekend when Ohio State hosts George Mason (Jan. 23) and Pfeiffer (Jan. 25).