COLUMUBUS, Ohio – Shawn Hughes and Jamie Wolmering both got the nod for their first career starts Friday night in Ohio State’s sweep over Lees-McRae College. Jason Bruggemann and Robbie Murphy each made their collegiate debuts in the opening set. The Buckeyes (7-14) outscored the Bobcats (2-14) by a combined score of 75-46 (25-16, 25-14, 25-16).
The pair of first-time starters rose to the occasion in a big way. Hughes paced the Buckeyes in kills (9), digs (8) and aces (3) while Wolmering was the team’s most efficient attacker (.833) and led all players with three blocks. Wolmering terminated 5-of-6 errorless attempts, flanked by Hughes swinging at a .389 clip (9-2-18).
Bruggemann and Murphy shined as well in their maiden voyages onto the court. Bruggeman bounced 2-of-3 attempts for kills and connected on an ace. Murphy totaled four kills and dug a ball.
True freshman Sean Ryan served as an additional offense force. He drilled eight kills on 11 attempts. Tyler Alter wasn’t far behind, accumulating seven kills.
SET 1: Tied 2-2, Ohio State rattled off seven straight points with Hughes toeing the service stripe. He sniped three aces during the run to blow things wide open. The Buckeyes tacked on two more aces and attacked .500 (13-3-20) for the set in a 25-16 run-away.
SETS 2-3: Fifteen service errors did little to derail the OSU locomotive in the final two frames. Ohio State buried 28 more kills and stuffed the Bobcats five times as Lees-McRae mustered only eight kills. Alter, Ryan and Wolmering combined for 11 kills in the second and were followed by eight third-set kills for Hughes and Murphy. To start the second stanza, senior setting Sanil Thomas took over full-time setting duties for the first time since a hand injury six weeks ago. He tallied a quarter century (25) worth of assists in guiding Ohio State to team hitting percentages of .444 and .370 in the second and third sets, respectively.
Next up for the Buckeyes is weekday trip to Happy Valley when the Nittany Lions of Penn State play host for a Tuesday night (March 19) tilt.