March 28, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 11 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team sent back 18 blocks to defeat Erskine College (17-5) in four sets (25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-15), wrapping up the 2015 non-conference slate 17-6 overall and 10-3 in non-MIVA competition.
Ohio State put together its best blocking performance in nearly three years. The squad’s 18 stuffs are the most in a match since posting 19 against Ball State back on April 25, 2012. Driss Guessous got in on 11 (2s, 9a), the most from an OSU individual since Grayson Overman tallied 11 blocks as well (vs. Grand Canyon) on April 5, 2012.
The Buckeyes found success offensively on the outside. Michael Henchy, Miles Johnson and Nicolas Szerszen combined for 46 kills from the pins. Ohio State attacked .336 (52-16-107) as a team compared to just .107 for the Flying Fleet. Henchy and Szerszen each swung above .450 while Johnson wasn’t far behind at .357 (12-2-28).
Ohio State’s blocking bonanza got going right away in the opening period. The Buckeyes registered five blocks to drive Erskine into the red with a -.062 attacking efficiency. Ohio State countered with a .348 hitting clip in a 25-18 winner in which OSU never trailed.
The script was flipped in set number two as Erskine went ahead for good early on at 6-5. Mike Michelau bombed away six kills and the Flying Fleet attacked .379 as a team to even the match at one set apiece (25-20).
Neither team could muster a strong upper-hand after intermission, witnessing 13 tied scores and four lead changes in set three. Henchy provided seven kills and assisted on three of Ohio State’s six blocks to guide his Buckeyes to victory. The lead stretched no further than three points the entire frame, first reaching a three-point margin at 20-17 following a Guessous-Henchy stuff block. The blocking brigade sealed the deal as well, responsible for points number 24 and 25. The 24th came from Grasso and Herron while Herron took care of business on his own for the clinching final tally.
The Buckeyes put it to rest in set number four, breezing to a 25-15 triumph. Six consecutive points for OSU transformed a 4-4 tie into a 10-4 edge and the Buckeyes never looked back.
MIVA play restarts again next weekend when Ohio State hits the road for matches at Lindenwood (April 3) and Quincy (April 4). Both contests are set to start at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET.