COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 10th-ranked OhioState (13-7 overall, 8-1 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) men’s volleyball team won a close 3-1 (31-29, 29-31, 30-28, 32-30) victory over the Red Flash of St. Francis (9-12) Saturday night in DeGol Arena. OSU’s Robbie Klein (Sr.-Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio) scored a match-high 26 points in the victory with Brett Versen (5th-Sr., Centerville, Ohio) adding 23. Each recorded 21 kills in the contest with Klein adding two ace serves, a solo block and four assist blocks. Versen added four assist blocks for his 23 points. Jordan Varee recorded a team-high 21 points for St. Francis with 19 kills and four assist blocks. Nick Rivett had 17 points from 17 kills for the Red Flash.
Game one saw St. Francis break a six-all tie with an OSU error and a Dave Reilly kill for an 8-6 lead. The Buckeyes cut the lead to one at 17-16 with a Versen kill. Two OSU errors and a Varee kill gave the Red Flash a 20-16 lead. Two St. Francis errors and a block from Klein, Ted Schoenfeldt (So., Northbrook, Ill.) and Daniel Mathews (Sr., Shorewood, Wis.) cut the lead to one at 20-19. At 23-21, the Buckeyes with a St. Francis error and a Versen-Ben Spurlock (Sr.-So., Stow, Ohio) block tied the game at 23. Tied at 25, a Klein kill gave OhioState a 26-25 lead. St. Francis tied the game at 26 with a Rivett kill. At 27-all, another Klein kill gave OSU a 28-27 lead. St. Francis tied the game at 28 with a Reilly kill. The Buckeyes reach game point at 29-28 with a Schoenfeldt kill. A Patrick McManamon kill tied the game at 29. A St. Francis error made it 30-29 to give OSU its second game point. The Buckeyes won the game, 31-29, with a Versen kill to take a 1-0 lead in the match. OhioState hit .297 for the game to .139 for St. Francis.
Game two saw St. Francis trail 2-1 before two Varee kills and one each from Reilly and Mark Steele gave the Red Flash a 5-2 lead. Ohio State trailed 19-16 before kills from Spurlock and Mathews, a Red Flash error and a Spurlock-Jason Tobkin (So.-Fr., Fairfield, Ohio)-Mathews block gave Ohio State a 20-19 lead. A Varee kill tied the game at 20. At 23-all, an OSU error and a Varee kill gave St. Francis a 25-23 lead. A Red Flash error and a Sean Martin (So.-Fr., Lakewood, Ohio) ace serve tied the game at 25. OSU took a 26-25 lead with a kill from Mathews. A Buckeye error tied the game at 26. The Buckeyes, with a Schoenfeldt kill, took a 27-26 lead. An OSU error and a Schoenfeldt kill made it 28-27, OSU. St. Francis tied the game at 28 with a kill from Rivett. The Red Flash reached game point at 29-28 off an OSU error. Versen, with a kill, stopped the point and tied the game at 29. An OSU error made it 30-29, St. Francis for their second game point. The Red Flash won the game with a Reilly kill to win, 31-29, and tie the match at one game each. St. Francis hit .333 for the game to .300 for OhioState.
OhioState opened game three with two Versen kills and a St. Francis error for a 3-0 Buckeye lead. The Red Flash responded with an Eric Syty-Varee block, an OSU error and a Rivett kill to tie the game at three. Tied at four, two Reilly kills gave St. Francis a 6-4 lead. The Buckeyes then scored the next five points starting with a Klein kill and a Steven Kehoe (So.-Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio) ace serve to tie the game at six. A Schoenfeldt-Klein block, a Versen-Schoenfeldt-Klein block and a Versen kill gave OhioState a 9-6 lead. The Red Flash responded with a Varee kill, a Steele-McManamon block and a Syty ace serve to tie the game at nine. Tied at 10, a St. Francis error and a Versen-Spurlock-Tobkin block gave OhioState a 12-10 lead. At 15-13, a Varee kill and a Syty-Reilly block tied the game at 15. With Ohio State leading, 25-23, an OSU error and a McManamon kill tied the game at 25. At 26-all, OSU kills from Versen and Spurlock made it 28-26. A Versen kill set game point at 29-26. McManamon stopped the game point with a kill at 29-27. An OSU error made it 29-28. A St. Francis service error ended the game at 30-28 to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead in the match. The Fred Flash hit .191 for the game to .146 for OhioState.
Game four saw the Buckeyes break a 2-2 tie with a five point run. Two kills from Schoenfeldt, an ace serve by Klein and two Red Flash errors gave Ohio State a 7-2 lead. At 10-6, OSU, two Klein kills and a Schoenfeldt-Klein block gave the Buckeyes a seven point lead at 13-6. St. Francis cut into the lead and trailed, 25-23, when two OSU errors tied the game at 25. The squads exchanged points to reach 28-all. St Francis took a 29-28 with a Shane Conley-McManamon block to serve game point. A Tobkin kill tied the game at 29. The Red Flash, with a Rivett kill had their second game point at 30-29. A St. Francis error tied the game at 30. Back-to-back kills from Spurlock gave OhioState a 32-30 win in the game and a 3-1 win in the match. Each squad hit .250 for the game.
OhioState hit .247 for the match while St. Francis hit .228. The Buckeyes had a 72-60 advantage in kills and a four-to-two margin in ace serves. OSU gave up 22 service errors with the Red Flash having 21. Defensively, the Buckeyes had a 63-53 margin in digs with OSU’s Conor Martin (Sr., Avon Lake, Ohio) and St. Francis’ Markus Schulze sharing match-high honors with 12 each. At the net, OhioState had an 11.5-10 margin in team blocks. McManamon recorded a match-high seven assist blocks for the Red Flash. At setter Steele had a match-high 39 assists for St. Francis with Conley adding 10. OhioState’s Mathews collected 34 assists in the match with Kehoe adding a career-high 29.
OhioState returns home to host 7 p.m. matches against 11th-ranked George Mason (16-6) Friday and Rutgers-Newark (6-15) Saturday in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes have played their last seven matches (5-2) on the road over the last five weeks.