April 30, 2023

Ohio State Sweeps King in NCAA Opener 


Box Score | Season Stats

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State (23-9) won its 2023 NCAA Tournament opener with a 3-0 win over the King University Tornado (16-16) Sunday at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. The Buckeyes will face Penn State at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+) Tuesday in the NCAA Quarterfinals.

The Buckeyes won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-16 before King battled to sent the third into overtime. After a back-and-forth affair, the Buckeyes prevailed to advance with a 36-34 win.

Jacob Pasteur led the Buckeyes with 17 kills on 21 swings for a hitting percentage of .667. Shane Wetzel and Jack Stevens each added 10 kills in the win, the first NCAA victory for Kevin Burch, head coach of the Buckeyes.

Thomas Poole led both teams with 10 digs while setter Michael Wright had a game-high 43 assists.

How it Happened

Set 1

King started with a 2-0 lead but the Buckeyes scored four of the next five points. A Cole Young kill put the Buckeyes up 5-3. A Tornado error and a 4-1 run gave the Buckeyes a 10-6 lead. King then tied it at 13-all after a 6-1 run. Ohio State reclaimed the lead at 15-13 just before the media timeout. King tied it again at 16-all before the Buckeyes went back up 19-17. The Tornado called timeout after the Buckeyes took a 21-18 lead after a 4-1 run. A Shane Wetzel kill put Ohio State up 24-20 before the Buckeyes won the first set, 25-20 on a King error. The Buckeyes hit .095 in the first while King managed a .143 percentage.

Set 2

Justin Howard put Ohio State up 2-1 on a blast from the middle. Another Howard kill and a Wetzel, Howard and Jack Stevens block put Ohio State up 4-2. Consecutive kills by Stevens increased Ohio State’s lead to 7-4. A Michael Wright kill on an overpass doubled up the Tornado 10-5. Pasteur then put one down on a cross court kill for an 11-5 lead. The Buckeyes led 15-8 at the media timeout after a 3-1 run. A Howard kill put Ohio State up 21-14. A Kyle Teune kill put the Buckeyes at set point before the Buckeyes took the set 25-16 on a big middle triple block. The Buckeyes hit .382 in the second with Pasteur and Wetzel leading both teams with six kills after two.

Set 3

King got out to a strong start in the third and went up 9-7 after a 4-0 run. A Pasteur kill after a King service error tied it at 10-all. The Tornado went up 13-10 and increased the lead to 15-11 at the media timeout.  A Pasteur kill from the back row and another on the left side tied the set at 17-all. A triple Buckeye block put Ohio State up 19-18. King then tied it at 19-all and the teams traded points until Ohio State used another block to take a 22-20 lead. King called timeout and tied it at 22-all. The Tornado called another timeout after a Wetzel kill put the Buckeyes at set and match point with a 24-22 lead. Ohio State called timeout after the Tornado rallied to tie it at 24-all. Ohio State called another timeout after King took a 26-25 lead on an Ohio State error. Pasteur then tied it with a kill and the Buckeyes took the lead on a Young kill in the middle. The Tornado tied it again on a service error before another Pasteur kill gave OSU the lead. King tied it and Pasteur again countered with a kill for a 29-28 lead. The Buckeyes went up 30-29 on a Tornado service error but King tied it once more before taking the lead on an OSU error at the net. A Pasteur kill and King error put Ohio State up 33-32 before the Tornado tied it again on a kill. The teams traded points before a Pasteur kill and King error gave the Buckeyes the set and match with a 36-34 win.

Up Next

Ohio State advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals against Penn State Tuesday. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. and streamed by ESPN+. The Buckeyes split with the Nittany Lions this year. Ohio State fell in Columbus, 3-1, Jan. 7 and then defeated the No. 1 Nittany Lions in State College March 21, 3-2.

  • The Buckeyes are making their 22nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State last appeared in the event in 2018 when the Buckeyes advanced to the finals before falling to Long Beach State.
  • Overall, the Buckeyes are 17-23 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with at least two wins in each of the last four appearances. Ohio State won NCAA titles in 2011, 2016 and 2017.
  • Ohio State won its 18th MIVA Tournament title with its 3-1 win at top-seeded Ball State in Muncie April 22. Redshirt junior Michael Wright was named the tournament MVP. He joined junior Jacob Pasteur and freshman Shane Wetzel on the all-tournament team.
  • Ohio State has swept six of its last nine opponents and won 28 of the last 31 sets on its way to a share of the 2023 MIVA regular-season and postseason tournament title.
  • The Buckeyes are on a 12-match win streak. The last time the Buckeyes won 10 or more consecutive matches was in 2017 when Ohio State opened the season with 19-victories before a loss. The Buckeyes also ended the year on a nine-match win streak in earning the NCAA Title with a 37-2 record.
  • The then-No. 15 Buckeyes traveled to No. 1 Penn State and came away with a 3-2 win in State College March 21. Freshman Shane Wetzel, who was named the MIVA Offensive Player of the Week earlier in the day (March 21), led Ohio State with 15 kills and three aces.
  • The last time Ohio State defeated a No. 1 team also occurred in State College when the No. 2 Buckeyes swept No. 1 BYU for the 2016 NCAA Title.



Ohio State’s Postmatch Press Conference

Shane Wetzel, Kevin Burch-Head Coach, Jacob Pasteur

Ohio State Buckeyes