April 7, 2000
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Fifth-ranked Ohio State (19-3 overall, 11-1 Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association), with a team hitting percentage of .472, defeated Loyola-Chicago (14-10, 4-7) 15-2, 15-5, 15-2. OSU’s Rene Esteves (Sr., San Juan, Puerto Rico) along with Pieter Olree (So., Reading, Pa.) scored a match-high 15 kills each in the one hour twenty-two minute match. Chris Fash (Jr., Lockport, Ill.) added 14 kills and Jose Rivera (Sr., Waukegan, Ill.) 10 for Ohio State while Rambler Ted Groves (Sr. Arlington Heights, Ill.) scored a team-high 14 for Loyola with Chris Steponaitis (Jr., West Chicago, Ill.) adding 10.
Ohio State opened game with five consecutive points starting with an ace serve by Fash. Blocks by Esteves and Esteves, Rivera and Aja (Sr., Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and an Esteves kill along with a Loyola error started the scoring. Ohio State expanded the lead to 9-0 with two Rambler errors, an Esteves kill, and an ace serve by Rivera. An OSU error put Loyola on the scoreboard at 9-1. A kill by Fash and two Loyola errors put the OSU lead at 12-1. A kill by Justin Schnor (So., Racine, Wis.) cut the lead to 12-2. OSU’s Mark Lehman (Fr., Galena, Ohio) scored on an ace serve and a Rambler error set game point at 14-2. Groves stopped the game point with a kill but Fash countered with a kill to set OSU’s second game point. A kill by Olree ended the game at 15-2. Ohio State hit .400 for the game to Loyola’s .000. Esteves, Fash and Olree each had four kills in the game while Steponaitis and Schnor had four each for Loyola.
An OSU error opened game two giving Loyola a 1-0 lead. A Rambler error tied the game at one. An ace serve by Steponaitis and an OSU error gave Loyola a 3-1 lead. Another OSU error expanded the lead to 4-1. Kills by Rivera and Esteves and a Rambler ball handling error tied the game at four. Kills by Olree and Fash and several Loyola errors opened the game giving OSU an 11-4 lead. A kill by Olree and two by Esteves put the Buckeyes at game point (14-4). Loyola stopped four game points before scoring a point on an OSU ball handling error. The Ramblers held off three more game points by the Buckeyes before a Fash kill ended the game at 15-5. The Buckeyes hit .472 for the game to .289 for the Ramblers. Esteves, Fash and Olree had seven kills each for OSU while Groves connected on nine kills for the Ramblers.
Loyola took the lead 1-0 on a Groves kill in game three. Esteves, with a kill, tied the game at one. Two Rambler errors and a Fash kill put Ohio State ahead 4-1. Rambler Steponaitis made it 4-2 with a kill but a Rambler error put the score at 5-2. An Olree kill and an ace serve by Aja gave OSU an 8-2 lead. Consecutive points on an Aja ace serve, an Olree kill and a Loyola error pushed the OSU lead to 10-2. OSU’s next three points came off Rambler hitting errors putting the lead at 13-2. An Esteves kill set game/match point at 14-2. A kill by Groves sided the ball to Loyola stopping the match point attempt. Rivera’s kill returned the serve to OSU and on the second match point Rivera connected for the match winner at 15-2. Ohio State hit .536 for the game to .000 for Loyola. Esteves and Olree had four kills each for OSU in the game while Groves had three for Loyola.
For the match Ohio State hit .472 to Loyola’s .126. The Buckeyes had a 63 to 36 advantage in kills. The Buckeyes outblocked Loyola 11 to two on the strength of seven blocks (one solo and six assists) by Esteves. Ohio State had a 36 to 26 edge in digs with Ross McLain (Sr., Lebanon, Ohio) collecting a match-high 14. OSU outserved Loyola five to two with Rivera scoring a match-high two. Buckeye setter Aja had 58 assists in the match while Shane Davis (So., Denver, Iowa) recorded 34.
Ohio State continues at home Saturday when they face Ball State (14-11, 6-5) at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena. A Buckeye win over the Cardinals would give OSU at least a share of the MIVA championship.