Jan. 7, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 8 Ohio State men’s volleyball team finished fourth at the UCSB/asics Collegiate Invitational after falling 3-0 to No. 3 UCLA late Friday night and then 3-2 to No. 6 Long Beach State Saturday. The two-day, eight-team invitational was held at UC Santa Barbara, Jan. 6-7.
The Buckeyes (1-2) faced the Bruins Friday night and lost in a three-set match (25-16, 25-19, 25-16). Senior Shawn Sangrey led the squad with 14 kills and six digs, while classmate Mik Berzins finished with six kills and six digs.
Ohio State returned to the court Saturday for the final match of the weekend, taking on the sixth-ranked 49ers. The Buckeyes captured the first two sets, but LBSU fought back at took the final three sets to win the match (23-25, 22-25, 26-24, 25-23, 15-10).
Leading the way for the Buckeyes was senior duo of Sangrey and Berzins. Sangrey finished with a match-high 24 kills, while Berzins totaled 14 kills with five digs. Redshirt freshman Shawn Herron had seven kills and redshirt junior John Tholen tallied six kills and a match-best six block assists.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a quick 9-5 lead in set one, but the 49ers inched back throughout the middle of the set to lock the score at 19-19. A kill from freshman Michael Henchy gave Ohio State a 23-21 advantage and Berzins finished the match with a kill for the 25-23 win.
The teams battled back and forth the beginning of set two. With the frame tied at 13 apiece, LBSU broke out on a 6-0 run to take a 19-13 advantage. The Buckeyes responded and fired a major run of their own, closing out the set on a 12-3 rally to win 25-22.
After LBSU jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in set three, Ohio State responded with a pair of 3-0 runs to go up 6-4. The team’s exchanged points until, down 14-12, the 49ers put together a 5-1 run to take a two-point lead. The Buckeyes battled back and capitalized on a pair of LBSU attack errors and a block from Grayson Overman and Heinen to earn set point, 24-23. The 49ers did not back down and rattled off the final three points to win 26-24.
Down two early in set four, Ohio State put together a 7-2 rally to take a 9-6 lead. A 49er rally gave LBSU a one-point advantage at 11-10 and the sixth-ranked team pushed ahead for a 19-14 lead. The Buckeyes came back to lock the score at 22 apiece, but LBSU finished to win 25-23 and force a fifth set.
LBSU opened with a 7-4 lead in the final frame and pushed to a 12-8 lead. Kills from Sangrey brought Ohio State within three at 13-10, but the 49ers finished taking the match with a 15-10 win.
The Buckeyes open their home schedule, Jan. 13-14, hosting Lees-McCrae and No. 7 Penn State. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. at St. John Arena. Ohio State will be dropping its 2011 national championship banner prior to Saturday’s match against the Nittany Lions.