April 8, 2000
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Fifth-ranked Ohio State (20-3 overall, 12-1 Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) with a 15-6, 15-13, 15-3 victory over No. 13 Ball State (14-12, 6-6) earned at least a share of the MIVA Championship Saturday night in St. John Arena. It marks the sixth time in the last eight years OSU has won or shared the conference crown. Ohio State needs a win over Lewis next Sunday at 2 p.m. in St. John Arena to win the title outright. Chris Fash (Jr., Lockport, Ill.) scored a team-high 20 kills for OSU with Pieter Olree (So., Reading, Pa.) adding 19 and 11 each from Jose Rivera (Sr., Waukegan, Ill.) and Colin McMillan (Sr., Burlington, Wis.). Cardinal Tom Tegethoff (So., St. Louis, Mo.) had a team-high 17 kills for Ball State with Paul Fasshauer (So., Hoffman Estates, Ill.) adding 13.
After four early ties in game one, Ohio State took an 8-5 lead off three Ball State hitting errors. A Rivera ace serve put the lead at 9-5 before a kill by Brent Schulz (So., Franksville, Wis.) cut the margin to 9-6. A Cardinal ball handling error and a kill by Olree put OSU up 11-6. After a BSU timeout, a McMillan kill made the Buckeye lead 12-6. After an exchange of sideouts, kills by Olree, Fash and Rivera ended game one at 15-6. Ohio State hit .469 for the game to .200 for Ball State.
The Buckeyes opened game two with a block by McMillan and Olree, an ace serve by Esteves and a kill by Olree for a 3-0 lead. The Buckeyes held a 4-1 lead before Ball State scored five straight points to take a 6-4 lead off three OSU errors and kills by Mark Lau (Sr., Grayslake, Ill.) and Tegethoff. Two additional OSU errors expanded the Cardinal lead to 8-4. Ohio State closed the lead to 8-7 off a Cardinal error and kills by Esteves and Fash. Ball State responded with kills by Tegethoff and Doug Market (So., Maidstone, Ont.) and an OSU error to go up 11-7. Buckeye kills by Fash and Esteves cut the margin to 11-9. Ball State responded with an ace serve by Tegethoff and an OSU error to take a 13-9 lead. OSU closed to 13-10 on a kill by Fash. Ohio State, with a block by McMillan and Angel Aja (Sr., Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and two Olree kills tied the game at 13. A McMillan and Rivera block set game point at 14-13 and a McMillan kill ended the game at 15-13. Ball State hit .373 for the game to .333 for Ohio State.
Kills by Fash and Olree and a BSU error gave OSU a 3-0 lead in game three. A Buckeye error made the score 3-1, but the Buckeyes scored the next five points off two kills by Fash, ace serves by Rivera and Aja and a Cardinal error to take an 8-1 lead. A Buckeye error made it 8-2 but two kills by Olree and a Cardinal error put Ohio State ahead 11-2. An OSU error put the score at 11-3 but a kill by Fash put OSU ahead 12-3. A Cardinal error and a Rivera kill set game/match point for Ohio State at 14-3 and a BSU error ended the game at 15-3. The Buckeyes hit .438 for the game to .030 for Ball State.
Ohio State hit .409 for the match to .224 for Ball State. OSU had a 73-54 advantage in kills and a 13-6 margin in blocks. OSU’s McMillan had a match-high 10 blocks (1-9). OSU had a 45 to 36 edge in digs with Aja having a match-high 10. Aja also had 62 assists in the match to 50 by Jeff Robertson (Sr., Racine, Wis.) OSU outserved the Cardinals six to two with Rivera and McMillan for OSU and Tegethoff for BSU serving two each.
From Ball State coach Joel Walton “Ohio State is a very good team and they’re having a great season. They have a lot of great players with a lot of experience. “At times we executed our game plan and were able to play with them, but we had problems sustaining that.”
From Ohio State coach Pete Hanson “It’s a great feeling to defend our conference title. Now our goal is to win the title outright, which is what we failed to capitalize on last year. We have the exact same circumstances as last year with Lewis coming in here for the final match, but last year we lost to Lewis in five. We really want to win the title outright, but we’ve got to come out and play in order to do it. “In the first and third games, we did the things we talked about in the lockerroom, like serving to the targets, playing good defense and getting solid swings. In the second game we didn’t do that until we were down 13-9. Once we tied it up, the momentum was back on our side of the net. I really liked the way we finished that game.”