March 7, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After falling behind early in the match, the No. 14 Ohio State men’s volleyball team rallied to take a 3-1 (17-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-22) win over non-conference rival and No. 12 Penn State Friday night in St. John Arena. The victory moved the Buckeyes to 8-8 on the season.
Tonight’s match was broadcast by BTN and will air on a tape delay Saturday, March 8, at 1 p.m. ET.
Junior outside hitter Michael Henchy led the Buckeyes with 14 kills in the match and added seven digs. Freshman Miles Johnson finished with 11 kills and two service aces, while classmate Christy Blough totaled 43 assists. Driss Guessous and Andrew Lutz chipped in nine kills and five blocks apiece. Libero Gabriel Domecus and senior Michael Piechowski had seven and six digs, respectively, in the match.
Aaron Russell led the Nittany Lions (13-4) with 20 kills, while Nick Goodell added 15. Setter Taylor Hammond had a match-high 44 assists and Peter Russell led the team with nine digs.
The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, highlighted by a service ace from Henchy. PSU, however, responded with a 9-2 run and took a 9-5 advantage. A kill by Lutz followed by an ace from Dustan Neary pulled the Buckeyes within one at 13-12. After exchanging points, the Nittany Lions went on a 6-1 run to push ahead 24-15. Penn State closed out the first set, 25-17.
After a Buckeye timeout trailing 11-9 in the second set, Ohio State responded to pull within one at 12-11 PSU. The Nittany Lions moved ahead at 18-14 before a trio of PSU errors and a kill from Henchy tied the score at 18 apiece. More Penn State errors lifted the Buckeyes to a 21-19 lead and Johnson sealed the second set with a service ace, 25-22.
Set three opened with the two teams exchanging points and runs, totaling 10 ties. A kill from Henchy sent the Buckeyes on a three-point run for a 14-12 advantage, but the Nittany Lions responded with a 5-0 rally to go ahead 18-15. Kills from Guessous and Johnson brought OSU within two at 20-18 and a PSU error sent the Buckeyes on a run, bringing them to set point at 24-22. After a Nittany Lion sideout, a Henchy kill gave the team a 25-23 win.
An early Penn State run moved the visitors to a 7-4 advantage to start the fourth. The Buckeye began to rally back and came within a point at 12-11 PSU. A kill from Henchy and a solo block by Lutz highlighted another three-point Buckeye run that tied the set at 15-all. A pair of two-point Ohio State rallies gave the squad a 20-19 lead and a kill from Henchy secured match point, 24-22. A service ace by Blough clinched a 25-22 win and the match.
Ohio State kicks off three-match road swing next week, beginning at MIVA rival and nationally-ranked Lewis, March 11. The Buckeyes and the Flyers face off in an 8 p.m. ET match in Romeoville, Ill.