Jan. 6, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 8 Ohio State men’s volleyball team opened the 2012 season with a come-from-behind, 3-2 (19-25, 18-25, 25-19, 28-26, 15-9), victory over No. 14 UC Santa Barbara in the first round of the UC Santa Barbara Invitational Friday.
With the win, Ohio State will face No. 3 UCLA in the second round of the weekend’s invitational. The two teams face off tonight at 10 p.m. ET from Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Buckeyes had a 20-kill effort from senior Shawn Sangrey, while senior Mik Berzins added 15 kills in the win. A pair of freshmen earned the first start of their careers in setter Peter Heinen and outside hitter Michael Henchy. Heinen dished out 45 assists and Henchy totaled 10 kills for Ohio State.
Defensively, junior Grayson Overman led the match with 11 block assists with Henchy tallying with six. Sangrey had six blocks (1s, 5a) while redshirt junior John Tholen finished with a match-best three solo blocks and one block assist. The Buckeyes totaled a match-high 17.5 blocks on the day.
UCSB had a pair of hitters tally 13 kills in Miles Evans and Blaine Nielsen. Kevin Donohue added 12 kills, while setter Oliver Deutschman had 42 assists.
The Gauchos jumped out to an early lead by taking the first set, 25-19. Locked at 6-6, UCSB completed a 4-1 run to go up 10-7 and held a slim advantage throughout the set. Back-to-back kills gave the home team its largest margin up to that point at 21-17 to force an Ohio State timeout. A kill from Henchy cut the lead to three, but UCSB finished on a 4-1 run to take the set.
UCSB utilized a .045 attach percentage from Ohio State to take a 2-0 lead going into intermission with a 25-18 win in set two. An early 8-2 run gave the Gauchos an 11-4 advantage to start the set. Ohio State responded with a 4-1 run, including a kill from Berzins and a Henchy/Overman block, to cut the lead to four at 13-9. UCSB did not let up and finished the match with on a 5-3 rally for the win.
A late run in a close third set led Ohio State to a 25-19 victory. Trailing 5-3 early, a pair of USCB errors locked the score at five apiece and a kill from Sangrey and an Overman/Sangrey block gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the match at 7-6. The teams exchanged points before a Sangrey service ace put Ohio State ahead at 18-16 and forced a UCSB timeout. The Scarlet and Gray closed out the set on a 7-3 run highlighted by a pair of kills from Berzins and a service ace by Henchy.
Ohio State sent the match to a fifth set after capitalizing on a -.043 UCSB attack percentage in the fourth to take the frame 28-26. A kill from Sangrey triggered an 8-3 Buckeye run at the start, but the Gauchos battled back with a run of their own to cut the lead to one at 10-9. Berzins pushed Ohio State’s lead to four at 17-13 with a kill and again at 23-19. Facing set point, a kill and block from UCSB tied the score at 24 apiece. The Buckeyes took the two-point victory with a kill by Tholen and a solo block from Sangrey to force the fifth.
Ohio State raced out to a 6-3 lead in the final frame, but a pair of back-to-back blocks brought the Gauchos within one at 9-8. A kill from Henchy broke up the UCSB run and the Buckeyes finished the match taking five of the last six points scored. A block from Overman and Heinen put Ohio State at match point and a kill from Henchy gave the Buckeyes a 15-9 win.