Jan. 2, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The #14 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team initiated McKendree University in the 2015 season opener, handing the Bearcats a four-set defeat in the second-year program’s first campaign as a member of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. The Buckeyes limited McKendree to less than 20 points in three of four sets (25-17, 25-12, 23-25, 25-17), holding the Bearcats to a .073 attacking efficiency.
Ohio State swung at a .360 clip for the evening, out-killing McKendree 51-29. Miles Johnson and Nicolas Szerszen combined for 29 kills while Michael Henchy and Dustan Neary each attacked at a rate above .400. Setters Christy Blough and Marco Grasso steered the offensive onslaught by assisting 46 of the 51 kills. The Buckeyes inflicted damage from the service line as well, racking up nine aces paced by three from Johnson and Peter Edwards each.
Defensively, Szerszen led the way in the backcourt with a half dozen digs while Shawn Herron and Neary defended the net with three blocks assists apiece.
The first two sets were all Ohio State, all the time. A Bearcat setting error gave OSU a 4-3 edge and the Buckeyes never looked back. Ohio State remained on top for the remainder of set number one and all of the second stanza. Side-out efforts of 82 and 92 percent pushed the Bucks to a combined tally of 50-29 in the first two frames.
The Buckeyes were then well on their way to a sweep, leading 17-13 in the third set, before McKendree mounted a 12-6 run for the come-from-behind winner.
Ohio State took its first timeout of the match trailing 12-11 in the following set. The break in action completly flipped the momentum as OSU snagged 14 of the next 19 points to close the door at 25-17.
St. John Arena will play host to a rematch Saturday at 4 p.m. when Ohio State and McKendree meet again.