March 23, 2013
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The No. 8 Ohio State men’s volleyball team traveled to MIVA rival IPFW and fell to the Mastodons, 3-2 (28-26, 17-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-9), Saturday night in Fort Wayne. The Buckeyes dropped to 15-5 overall and 7-3 in the league.
Ohio State’s defense combined for 16.5 blocks highlighted by eight blocks (1s, 7a) from redshirt senior John Tholen. Senior Grayson Overman totaled seven (2s, 5a), while redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz finished with a career-high five block assists. Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson totaled a match-high 16 kills, marking his 15th match this season with double-digit digs.
Offensively, four Buckeyes finished with double-digit kills. Sophomore Michael Henchy had 15 to lead the squad, while Lutz totaled 13. Senior Chen Levitan totaled 12 and Overman tied a season-best with 11. Setter Peter Heinen picked up 51 assists to mark his sixth match with 50 or more.
Eddie Rivera and Andy Sellan had 15 kills apiece to lead the Mastodons (10-9, 4-6), while Anthony Randolph had 10. Rob Samp finished with seven block assists and libero Luis Bertran notched 10 digs.
IPFW kicked off the match with an 8-3 lead in set one to force an early Buckeye timeout. A kill by Overman triggered a 6-2 run to bring the Buckeyes within a point an 11-10. Kills by Lutz and Levitan and a solo block by Tholen gave Ohio State its first lead of the match at 19-18. The two teams battled back and forth before the Mastodons captured their first set point at 24-23. More exchanges ensued, but IPFW was able to use momentum to take a 28-26 win.
After falling behind early in the second, a Mastodon error sent the Buckeyes on an 8-1 run for a 13-9 advantage. Back-to-back kills by Levitan pushed Ohio State ahead at 19-15 and the team closed out the set on a 5-0 run highlighted by a pair of service aces from Tholen for a 25-17 win.
Down 5-4 in set three, a kill and service ace by Overman prompted a 7-2 Buckeye run for an 11-7 lead. IPFW cut the Ohio State lead to two at 17-15 before a kill by Tholen followed by another from Lutz pushed the Buckeyes ahead at 19-16. A Mastodon error gave the Buckeyes set point at 24-19 and the squad took the match, 25-20.
IPFW regrouped in set four and opened the match with 6-2 lead before Ohio State was able to respond and cut it to one at 6-5. At 10-9 IPFW, the Mastodons went on a 6-1 run for a 16-10 advantage. The Buckeyes chipped away, but it wasn’t enough as the home team forced a fifth set with a 25-22 win.
The Mastodons utilized momentum and took an early 7-4 lead to start the final stanza. A pair of two-point runs led to a 10-6 IPFW advantage and back-to-back Buckeye errors sealed a 15-9 Mastodon victory.
Ohio State returns to St. John Arena for a pair of non-conference matches March 29-30. The Buckeyes host Mount Olive Friday and Lees-McRae Saturday with both matches beginning at 7 p.m. ET.