Columbus, Ohio – The ninth-ranked Ohio State (7-2 overall) men’s volleyball team, behind a match-high 18.5 points from Shawn Sangrey recorded a 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-20) sweep over ninth-ranked (tie) Penn State (7-3) Wednesday night in St. John Arena. Sangrey posted a match-high 16 kills (.438), two ace serves and one assist block while John Klanac added nine points with seven kills (.150) and two assist blocks. Penn State’s Joe Sunder posted a team-high 14 points with 13 kills (.310) and two assist blocks. Peter Russell added seven kills off the bench.

After seven ties and three lead changes, Penn State held a 7-6 lead when a Kevin Heine kill tied the set at seven. OSU scored the next four points off two PSU errors, a Jason Tobkin ace serve and a kill from Sangrey to take an 11-7 lead. Trailing, 12-8, Penn State kills from Nick Turko and Sunder cut the margin to two at 12-10. A Penn State error and an Ian Hendries-Sunder block moved the score to 13-11. Ohio State scored the next seven points to open a 20-11 lead. The run included kills from Klanac, Sangrey and Seven Kehoe, a Klanac ace serve, a Grayson Overman-Tobkin block, a Kehoe solo block and a Penn State error. OSU reached set point at 24-13 on a Kehoe ace serve. Penn State stopped four set points with two Peter Russell kills, one from Edgardo Goas and an OSU error. The Buckeyes won the set, 25-17, with a Sangrey kill to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .320 for the set to .138 for the Nittany Lions.

From a 4-4 tie in set two, three Penn State errors and a Kehoe kill gave Ohio State an 8-4 lead. Trailing, 11-7, two OSU errors and a Turko ace serve cut the lead to 11-10. A PSU error and a Tom Comfort kill made it 12-11. An OSU error tied the set at 12. Buckeye kills from Sangrey, Overman, Tobkin and Klanac opened a 16-12 OSU lead. At 20-16, two Penn State kills from Sunder cut the lead to two at 20-18. Two kills each from Sangrey and Sunder made it 22-20. A Tobkin kill and an OSU error made it 23-21. Ohio State reached set point at 24-21 off a Nittany Lion error. The Buckeyes won the set, 25-21, off another Penn State error to take a 2-0 lead in the match. OSU hit .400 for the set to .367 for Penn State.

The third set was tied at two when kills from Russell and Sunder gave Penn State a 4-2 lead. Klanac, with two kills, tied the set at four. A Buckeye error and a kill from Sangrey made it five-all. A Buckeye error, a Russell kill and a Hendries-Comfort block gave Penn State an 8-5 lead. Trailing, 13-11, Buckeye kills from Klanac and Tobkin tied the set at 13. At 15-all, a Tor Covello ace serve and a kill from Russell gave Penn State a 17-15 lead. OSU responded with kills from Sangrey and Kehoe to make it 17-all. A Heine-Sangrey block gave OSU an 18-17 lead. A Russell kill tied the set at 18. Two Penn State errors and an Anthony Hock ace serve opened a 21-19 Ohio State lead. A Sunder-Turk block and a PSU error made it 22-20. Klanac, with a kill, opened a three-point lead at 23-20. Ohio State reached match-point at 24-20 with a Sangrey ace serve. The Buckeyes won the set, 25-20, off a Nittany Lion error to win the match, 3-0. Ohio State hit .385 for the set to .194 for Penn State.

OSU hit .370 for the match to .232 for Penn State. Each squad posted 39 kills with the Buckeyes having a 37-36 advantage in assists. Goas recorded a match-high 36 for Penn State with OSU’s Kehoe recording 35. The Buckeyes had a 7-2 margin in ace serves with OSU’s Sangrey and Klanac sharing match-high honors with two each. Penn State gave up 10 service errors to eight for Ohio State. Defensively, the Buckeyes had a 32-25 margin in digs. OSU’s Mik Berzins and PSU’s Dennis Del Valle shared match-high honors with nine each. At the net, OSU edged the Nittany Lions, 4-3, in team blocks. Penn State’s Hendries and Sunder and OSU’s Heine each posted two assist blocks to share match-high honors.

Ohio State continues a three-match home stand with 7 p.m. matches Thursday and Friday in St. John Arena against Quincy (3-3). This Thursday is the MIVA home opener for the Buckeyes against Quincy University. The Bucks are playing this match in support of Beth Stefani, mother of current sophomore Mike Stefani. Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer in early September of 2010. She has successfully gone through 4 chemo treatments and a surgery, and is a great source of motivation for Mike and our guys.  This Thursday’s match against Quincy the Buckeyes will dedicate their efforts in honor of Beth’s fight against cancer.

We will honor Beth with an honorary captain position and look forward to seeing the Stefani’s and all our fans this Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

Pete Hanson, Ohio State head coach
On tonight’s win and overall play
“Tonight’s win means a lot. This is a team that has historically had our number the last few years. It’s good for our guys to break through and go out and play a nice solid match against these guys and come away with a well deserved win against another quality opponent. That’s what we talked about the last two days, to come off that win against Irvine, which was a good win against a quality opponent, how can we get to that level again and continue it and I think we did a nice good of it tonight.”

On Penn State’s comeback in the first set
“I think we just had to keep doing what we were doing. They made some nice plays. They have a good defensive group and they have some guys who can touch you at the net and block you. It wasn’t like we made bad plays; they just made a couple good plays and we just had to continue to pass the ball to Steve (Kehoe) and let Steve run our offense. Coming down the stretch I thought the thing that got us going was our serving. I thought we served the ball really, really well and really aggressively.”

On playing three matches in a row
“That’s what we talked about in the locker room – we’re coming back to league opponents and maybe they’re not the caliber of Penn State, but they are still important matches for us and we’ve got to continue to play at a level and set a standard that we’re not going to fall below. We need to make sure that we aspire to that and play at that level.  You don’t worry about the opponent on the other side, you worry about yourselves. I think we’ve got a mature enough team that’s going to do that, so hopefully we’ll get through this.”