Feb. 13, 2016
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – The No. 9 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team took out the defending Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season champion and 14th-ranked Lewis Flyers in three sets Saturday night; just 24 hours after departing from the Windy City with a three-set road victory over the 2014 and 2015 NCAA national champions, No. 5 Loyola University. Ohio State (10-3, 5-1 MIVA) tallied triumphant tallies of 27-25, 25-22, 25-20 to ground the Flyers (9-5, 4-2).
Christy Blough steered a balanced and potent attack. Ohio State racked up 39 kills, 36 of which Blough assisted on, attacking at a .321 clip (39-12-84). The Buckeyes continued their season-long tear from the service stripe as well, firing in seven more aces against the Flyers. Ohio State showed an ability to side-out consistently throughout the short evening, producing set side-out percentages of 73, 72 and 71 percent.
The Buckeyes had to overcome a half dozen Lewis blocks in the opening frame. Service aces from Christian Franceschi and Miles Johnson helped soften the blow while a six-kill advantage (15 to 9) over the Flyers pushed Ohio State over the top. The Buckeyes blocked two set-point chances for Lewis before capitalizing on their first opportunity to end it at 27-25.
Set number two saw the Scarlet & Gray burst out to a six-point advantage starting at 13-7 and extending as late as 21-15. Lewis wouldn’t go away without a fight, however, inching back within a pair at 21-19, 23-21 and 24-22 before a Blake Leeson kill ended hope of a comeback and sent Ohio State into intermission with a two-sets-to-none edge.
Head coach Pete Hanson burned a T.O. with his squad behind 15-13 in the third frame. Johnson emerged from the break in action with a kill, igniting a 12-5 Buckeye run to close the deal at 25-20.
The upcoming weekend brings with it two home matches inside St. John Arena, opening the doors for back-to-back nights (Feb. 19-20) facing the Grand Canyon Antelopes (9-3, 2-1 MIVA).