April 15, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 8/10 Ohio State men’s volleyball team closed out the regular season with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-22) win at non-conference George Mason Sunday afternoon. With the win, Ohio State finished 20-8 overall for the team’s third straight 20-win season.

Senior outside hitter Mik Berzins tallied 14 kills and 11 digs for his fifth double-double of the season. Junior Nick Gibson also finished with 14 kills and added seven digs, while sophomore libero Michael Piechowski had 12 digs. Middle blocker Shawn Herron led the squad with four block assists.

Three Patriots totaled 11 kills in Andrew Dentler, Mark Jones and Michael Kvidahl. Max McFarland led all student-athletes with 14 digs, while setter Javier Perez finished with 34 assists.

George Mason jumped out to a quick 3-0 advantage in set one and forged ahead for an 11-7 lead to force a Buckeye timeout. Down 15-11, a kill by Herron led to a five-point run for the team’s first lead at 16-15. The squads exchanged points until a service ace by Anthony Hock gave OSU a two-point advantage and the squad went on for a 25-23 win.

Down two to start the second set, George Mason put together a 7-1 run for an 8-4 lead. The Patriots held on to their advantage throughout the set before the Buckeyes began to chip away at their lead. Kills by Gibson and Berzins cut the GMU lead to three at 17-14 and a pair of Patriot attack errors tied the set at 19 apiece. Tied at 23-23, a kill by Michael Henchy followed by a Herron/Peter Heinen block gave the Buckeyes 25-23.

A Gibson kill locked set three at four apiece and at 5-5, back-to-back Buckeye blocks put Ohio State up 7-5. The Patriots tied it up at eight before OSU put together another run for a 12-9 lead. The Buckeyes held on to the breathable lead and a kill by Berzins gave OSU set point at 24-18. GMU was not going down without a fight and went on a five-point run before another Berzins kill gave the Buckeyes the match, 25-22.

Ohio State enters the MIVA Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will face the winner of No. 4 Grand Canyon and No. 5 Ball State in a semifinal match, April 25. First serve set for 7 p.m. ET in St. John Arena.