March 4, 2016

Final Stats


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 5 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (14-3, 8-1 MIVA) completed a regular season sweep of the 11th-ranked and two-time defending NCAA national champion Ramblers of Loyola University (11-5, 6-3) Friday night. The Buckeyes took the match 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 and have won all six sets played against Loyola this season.

The @OhioState_MVB team takes down Loyola in 25-22 victory on Friday night.

— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) March 5, 2016

Ohio State overcame 16 service errors, turning up the heat defensively and limiting the Ramblers to a .188 team attacking percentage. The Buckeyes recorded seven blocks and dug 28 balls to compliment a solid .333 hitting effort by the offense. Nicolas Szerszen paced all players with 18 points, putting away 15 kills, two aces and a pair of block assists. Driss Guessous, making his return from an injury which kept him out of the lineup since Jan. 8, made an immediate impact with six kills on 10 errorless attempts and match-high four block assists.

The Buckeyes trailed 13-12 midway through the opening frame before a Rambler service blunder evened the score at 13-all and opened the door for an eight-point OSU scoring streak. Christian Franceschi manned the service line, ripping three aces over the next seven points to push Ohio State ahead 20-13. Franceschi fired in fastballs for his first two aces before pulling the string on an off-speed serve catching Loyola surprised and unable to handle Franceschi’s third ace. Ohio State would hold steady and earn a 25-20 triumph to begin the night.

A roof block by Miles Johnson handed Ohio State its biggest edge of the evening, a seven-point cushion at 13-6 in set number two. Loyola would later cut the deficit to as few as three points before ultimately falling 25-21. The Buckeyes came at them with a balanced offensive attack comprised of five different players posting multiple kills, including four each from Franceschi, Johnson and Szerszen.

Wild, elongated rallies were a common occurrence in the third frame, leading to a total of 34 digs between the two squads. Despite trailing for the vast majority of the set, Ohio State was able to ultimately out-last the Ramblers, 25-22, to conclude a lengthy final period. Loyola owned a 15-10 advantage and held the upper-hand as late as 21-20. Guessous then re-emerged and got in on three consecutive points to lift Ohio State ahead for good at 23-21. The Pasadena, Calif., native sandwiched a Johnson-paired block with two kills to complete the momentum flop. Three points later, Szerszen hammered home the final nail and Ohio State arose victorious 25-22.

St. John Arena opens its doors for another top-15 match-up Saturday as the Buckeyes play host to 13th-ranked and defending MIVA champion Lewis at 7 p.m. ET.