Columbus, Ohio The eighth-ranked (tie) Ohio State (1-2) men’s volleyball opened the home schedule with a 3-0 (25-16, 26-18, 25-19) sweep of St. Francis (0-1) Saturday evening in St. John Arena. OSU’s John Klanac posted a match-high 12 points in the match with 11 kills (.588) and two assist blocks. Jason Tobkin added 9.5 points with nine kills (.667) and one assist block. Logan Patterson recorded a team-high 10 points for the Red Flash with nine kills (.130) and two assist blocks. John Skarupa added eight points with eight kills (.467).

Ohio State opened set one with three St. Francis errors, a Mik Berzins ace serve and a Tobkin kill for a 5-0 lead. At 8-4, a Grayson Overman kill and ace serve and a Kevin Heine solo block opened an 11-4 Buckeye lead. After a Red Fash kill by Skarupa (11-5), a St. Francis error, two kills from Tobkin, one from Berzins and a Steven Kehoe ace serve expanded the lead to 16-5. Ohio State held the lead to reach set point at 24-15 off a Red Flash error. A Buckeye error stopped the point at 24-16. Klanac, with a kill, ended the set at 25-16, OSU, to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .600 for the set to .179 for St. Francis.

A Tobkin kill opened set two while a Buckeye error tied the set at one. A Hine kill and two St. Francis errors gave OSU a 4-1 lead. A Colin Sherwin kill and an Adam Roche-Patterson block cut the lead to one at 4-3. At 6-5, an OSU error tied the set at six. At seven-all, a Chad Martson kill gave St. Francis an 8-7 lead. OSU tied the set at eight with a Mike Stewart kill. Solos blocks from Berzins and Heine and a Red Flash error gave Ohio State an 11-8 lead. The Buckeyes held the lead to reach set point at 24-17 with a kill from Klanac. A Patterson kill stopped the set point at 24-18. OSU, with a kill from Klanac, won the set 25-18 to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .545 for the set to .160 for St. Francis.

Set three was close early with 10 ties and four lead changes. St. Francis trailed, 17-16, when a Patterson kill tied the set at 17 for the last time. A Stewart kill and a Red Flash error opened a 19-17 Buckeye lead. A Buckeye error cut the lead to 19-18. A John Tholen kill and a Nick Gibson ace serve made it 21-18 as St. Francis called a time out. A Red Flash error, a Klanac kill made it 23-18. OSU reached match point at 24-18 with a Tholen kill. A Patterson kill stopped the match point at 24-19.  Ohio State won the set, 25-19, with a Klanac kill to win the match, 3-0. In the set, Ohio State hit .579 to .407 for St. Francis.

For the match, Ohio State hit .574 to .250 for St. Francis. The Buckeyes had a 40-35 advantage in kills and a 38-33 margin in assists. OSU’s Kehoe posted a match-high 35 assists while Ryan Williams recorded 32 for St. Francis. The Buckeyes had a 5-2 advantage in ace serves with Kehoe recording a match-high two. St. Francis gave up 14 service errors to 11 for the Buckeyes. Defensively, Ohio State had a 23-13 margin in digs. Sharing team-high honors for Ohio State is Berzins and Kehoe with six each. John Wappler posted a match-high seven digs for the Red Flash. At the net, Ohio State had a 7.5 to three advantage in team blocks. Ohio State’s Heine (two solos, one assist block) and Roche (three assists) for St. Francis shared match-high honors with three blocks each.

Ohio State completes the two-match home stand at 7 p.m. next Tuesday when they host George Mason (3-0) in St. John Arena.

Quoting Head Coach Pete Hanson:

On the first win of the season
“Feels good. Always good to win. We came back off the California trip playing pretty good volleyball, but it’s nice to be home and get our home opener done.”

On the difference between tonight and the performance at Pepperdine
“I think we just attacked at a little higher level. St. Francis is not the same level caliber as Pepperdine is, but I think the big thing is the guys just came in doing what they did in California, which is side out well serve the ball pretty well and kept the pressure on the other side.”

On the close third set
“You know St. Francis finally just settled in. They were nervous coming out of the gate. They have some young kids on the floor. By game three they relaxed and started to hit some good shots. They did a pretty good job offensively and we had a couple of balls that we just didn’t kill them in the right time, but i think our experience kind of took over the last ten points of the game.”