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Jan. 28, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the final match of the Ken and Dave Dunlap Invitational, the No. 10 Ohio State men’s volleyball team took No. 4 Stanford to five sets and dropped a heartbreaker, 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 24-26, 25-22, 15-12), Saturday night in St. John Arena.

Senior captain Shawn Sangrey led all attackers with 30 kills, tying his career best. The Columbia, Pa., product also finished with seven digs and had four blocks (1s, 3a). Junior Chen Levitan totaled 10 kills, while junior Grayson Overman and senior Mik Berzins had seven. Overman had five block assists, while Berzins finished with four blocks (2s, 2a).

Redshirt freshman Peter Heinen had a match-high 49 assists and added six block assists. Redshirt junior and co-captain John Tholen also totaled six blocks (2s, 4a), while junior Derek Kues finished with a team-best eight digs.

A trio of Stanford student-athletes had 17 kills in Brian Cook, Brad Lawson and Steven Irwin. Eric Mochalski added 11 kills, while Evan Barry and Dylan Kordic finished with 38 and 23 assists, respectively. Libero Erik Shoji had a match-high 16 digs.

A kill by Sangrey in set one locked the score at 3-3 and both teams exchanged points in the opening parts of the set. Another kill by Sangrey set the score at 10-9 in favor of Stanford, but the Cardinal pushed a four-point run to take a 14-9 advantage. The Buckeyes battled back to cut the lead to one at 15-14, highlighted by a pair of service aces from Mike Stefani. The comeback wasn’t enough though as Stanford finished the set with a 25-22 win.

Stanford took a quick two-point lead to start the second stanza, but a kill by Sangrey and a Cardinal error locked the score at 6-6. Tied at eight apiece, a kill by Sangrey triggered 4-1 run as Ohio State took a 13-9 lead. The Buckeyes held on to its advantage throughout the set and a pair a kills by Overman led to a 21-15 score. Stanford fought back to cut the Buckeye lead to two at 22-20, but Ohio State solidified the set win with a kill by Berzins.

The two teams battled back and forth throughout the third set, tallying 16 ties and five lead changes. A solo block by Berzins put the Buckeyes up 6-5, but the Cardinal responded with a pair of points for a 7-6 lead. A kill from Levitan cut the Stanford lead to one and a block from Heinen/Tholen tied it up at 12 apiece. A Cardinal attack error and back-to-back Buckeye blocks put Ohio State up 20-17, but again, Stanford responded to tie the set at 22-22. Ohio State faced two set points and was able to win the set, 26-24.

Ohio State jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead on a kill by Sangrey and went up 4-3 on a kill by Berzins. Stanford came back to take its first lead of the set, 9-7. Kills by Tholen and Sangrey locked the score at 11 apiece and the teams exchanged points until, at 20-20, the Cardinal pulled ahead at 22-20. Stanford forced a final set with a 25-22 win in set four.

The Buckeyes took a 2-0 advantage to start the final stanza and held the two-point lead to 9-7. The Cardinal bounced back and utilized a three-point rally to take a 10-9 lead and for an Ohio State timeout. A kill by Sangrey brought the score to 13-12 in favor of Stanford, but the Cardinal closed out to win 15-12.

Ohio State travels to University Park, Pa., for a tournament held by Penn State, Feb. 3-4. The Buckeyes open with a 5 p.m. ET match vs. Cal-Baptist Friday and follow with a 5 p.m. match vs. Mount Olive Saturday.