Feb. 17, 2013

Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 6 Ohio State men’s volleyball team outlasted MIVA rival Ball State, 3-1 (28-26, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23), in a league match up Sunday afternoon in St. John Arena.

The Buckeyes (10-2, 4-0) were once again guided by their defense, finishing with 12.0 team blocks and 62 total digs. Redshirt senior John Tholen tied a match-high with six (1s, 5a) blocks, while senior Grayson Overman finished with five (2s, 3a). Four Buckeyes had double-digit digs, including Michael Henchy with 12 and Brennan Anderson with 11.

Redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz picked up his second double-double of the year, totaling 17 kills and 12 digs. Senior Chen Levitan added a double-double with 15 kills and a career-high 15 digs. Setter Peter Heinen had a match-best 51 assists and chipped in seven digs in the win.

The Cardinals (8-3, 3-3) were led by Greg Herceg with 18 kills, while Shane Witmer finished with 10. Setter Graham McIlvaine had 45 assists with 13 digs and libero Tommy Rouse had a match-high 17 digs. Middle blockers Matt Leske and Kevin Owens had six blocks apiece for the Cardinals.

The teams battled back and forth to start the first before the Buckeyes put together a 5-0 run to take a 16-11 lead. Freshman Mitch Vallis had a pair of service aces to highlight the run. Ball State responded late in the set with a four-point run to tie it up at 20 apiece. Ohio State pushed ahead to earn set point at 24-23 and faced set point four more times before an Overman/Henchy block sealed a 28-26 win.

Locked at seven apiece in set two, the Cardinals went on a 4-0 run for an 11-7 advantage and pushed ahead on a five-point run to take their largest lead at 18-11. The Buckeyes responded with four-straight blocks to come within three at 20-17 and capitalized on Ball State errors to cut the lead to one at 23-22. The Cardinals, however, held on and took the set, 25-22.

A pair of early two-point runs gave Ohio State a 4-2 lead in the third set. A 3-0 run put Ball State ahead at 7-6 and an Owens/Herceg block gave the Cardinals a slim 11-9 lead. The Buckeyes replied with a 4-1 run to regain the lead at 15-13 and three-straight kills by Levitan set the score 22-18. A kill by Lutz closed out the set for a 25-19 victory.

The Buckeyes fell behind early in the fourth by as much as five with the score 10-5 Ball State. A Cardinal kill followed by a block pushed the visitors to a 15-9 lead before a Tholen/Henchy block sent the Buckeyes on a 3-0 run. Another Ohio State block triggered a 6-1 run to tie the set at 18 and kills by Levitan and Tholen gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the set at 20-19. A solo block by Overman tied the set at 23 and the Buckeyes captured the match after Cardinal errors gave Ohio State a 25-23 win.

The Buckeyes host Juniata in a non-conference match Feb. 22 in St. John Arena. The teams face off at 7 p.m. ET and admission is free.