COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team, led by Kevin Burch making his head coach debut, was triumphant in its Covelli Center opener. The Buckeyes (1-0) sent away North Greenville (1-1) in straight set (25-17, 27-25, 25-19) to please a crowd of 1,169 in attendance.
Ohio State never trailed in any of the three sets.
Burch is the ninth head coach in program history and maintained the group’s unblemished record in debuts. All nine were winners in their first career match as Buckeye head coach.
Five different Buckeyes recorded eight or more kills for a balanced offensive attack which resulted in a team hitting percentage of .326 guided by true freshmen setter Michael Wright’s 38 assists. Reese Devilbiss paced the squad with 11 kills while Samuel Clark’s 10 kills at a .750 attacking rate (10-1-12) was the most efficient effort. Ethan Talley contributed eight kills on 11 error-free attempts (.727) while Andrew Hillman and Martin Lallemand also chipped in eight kills apiece. Hillman added three aces and two block assists to lead all Buckeyes with a dozen points.
Lallemand garnered the best defensive numbers on the night, delivering a team-high eight digs and three blocks.
That 1-0 feeling… pic.twitter.com/C0KdyvI5CT
— OSU Men's Volleyball (@OhioStateMVB) January 5, 2020
North Greenville’s Jackson Gilbert is a native of Hilliard, Ohio, and posted 11 kills, four digs and two aces.
Clark terminated his first career swing to put Ohio State up 1-0 and the Buckeyes stayed on top for the entire first frame on the strength of a .536 team hitting percentage. The lead stretched to eight points by set’s end, a 25-17 winner.
Not often would a team be considered ‘in control’ during a 27-25 set, but the Buckeyes were essentially just that. Ohio State never trailed and thus did not face an NGU set-point.
Clark handed OSU a 1-0 edge to begin the third as well. That feeling of deja vu continued for the remainder of the set as Ohio State sustained its edge throughout and closed out the evening by holding North Greenville under 20 points once again.
The Scarlet & Gray host two more matches in the next week, playing host to Urbana University Tuesday (Jan. 7) and Saint Francis University on Thursday (Jan. 9). Both contests are set for 7 p.m. starts.