Feb. 15, 2013

Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 6 Ohio State men’s volleyball team outlasted a spirited IPFW team and came away with a 3-1 (29-31, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23) win Friday night in St. John Arena. Ohio State improved to 9-2 overall and 3-0 in the MIVA with the victory.

The Buckeye defense totaled a season-best 17.0 blocks in the match. Redshirt senior John Tholen finished with a career-best nine (1s, 8a) blocks, while redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen had a career-high eight blocks (1s, 7a). Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson recorded a career-best 24 digs and senior Nick Gibson set a career high with 10 digs and added four blocks.

Offensively, sophomores Michael Henchy and Andrew Lutz led the squad with 17 and 16 kills, respectively. Senior Grayson Overman finished with a season-high 11 kills and Tholen totaled nine.

IPFW (5-4, 2-2) was led by Eddie Rivera with 17 kills and 12 digs. Setter Omar Rivera totaled 49 assists and 12 digs, while Ramon Burgos and Anthony Randolph had 11 kills apiece. Libero Luis Bertran finished with 11 digs for the Mastodons.

Tied early at four apiece in the first, IPFW went on a 4-1 run for an 8-5 advantage. A kill by Henchy followed by a Lutz/Tholen block sent the Buckeyes on a 6-1 run to regain the lead at 12-10. The Mastodons battled back to tie the set at 16 and the teams swapped points to the end of the set. IPFW faced six match points until back-to-back Buckeye errors sealed the 31-29 IPFW win.

The Mastodons used momentum at the start of the second and took a 12-8 lead highlighted by a 6-1 run. A Buckeye block followed by an Overman kill brought the Buckeyes within two at 18-16 and a kill by Lutz with a Gibson solo block cut the IPFW lead to one, 20-19. Back-to-back Buckeye blocks gave Ohio State its first lead of the set at 22-21 and the Buckeyes went on to take the set, 25-23, to lock the match at one set apiece.

Ohio State capitalized on early Mastodon attack errors to move ahead 8-6 in the third. A 5-1 Buckeye run pushed the home team ahead at 13-8 and a Heinen solo block sent the squad on a 6-1 rally for a 19-10 advantage. A kill by Henchy gave Ohio State a 24-17 lead and a Gibson kill closed out the set, 25-18.

The Buckeyes took a quick 4-0 lead to open the fourth and a kill by Tholen followed by a Tholen/Lutz block set the score 9-5. Ohio State held on to its two-point lead through the middle part of the set before an Overman kill and another block pushed the team up 19-15. The Mastodons responded with a 5-1 run to lock the score at 20 apiece, but a kill from Lutz gave the Buckeyes set point at 24-22. In fitting fashion, Ohio State captured the set with a Tholen/Henchy block, 25-23.

Ohio State returns to St. John Arena Sunday, hosting MIVA rival Ball State in a 4 p.m. ET match. Admission is free.