LORETTO, Pa. — Ohio State’s offense continued its recent high speed pursuit of statistical dominance, doubling up the Red Flash of Saint Francis University 44 kills to 22. The Buckeyes (15-4) attacked .463 and connected on a half dozen aces while limiting SFU (8-14) to a .100 hitting clip. Final set scores were 25-18, 25-18, 25-19.
Sanil Thomas (36 assists) managed an efficient onslaught by finding five different teammates for five or more kills, including a match-best 14 put-aways for Nicolas Szerszen. The two-time National Player of the Year was dominant in this one, lasting the entire night nary an attacking error to post a .519 hitting percentage. Maxime Hervoir delivered a big night on the opposite pin as well, totaling 10 kills at a .562 attacking rate.
Nick Laffin was a prominent force for the second consecutive night, drilling five kills on nine error-free attempts. For the weekend, Laffin connected on 13 kills with zero errors to post a .684 hitting percentage. Blake Leeson also delivered a big performance as the Buckeyes overpowered Saint Francis. Leeson was responsible for eight kills at a .500 efficiency rate.
Libero Aaron Samarin paced the squad with nine digs, followed closely by Szerszen’s 8 and Hervoir at seven digs.
Saint Francis pulled ahead 5-4 in the opening frame before a flurry of Buckeye points resulted in a 9-1 run and 13-6 upper hand Ohio State would not relinquish. The Red Flash later strung together three points in a row to pull within five at 23-18, but Szerszen and Jakes Hanes bounced kills to end the next two rallies and close it out 25-18.
Ohio State came out hot in the second stanza, racing to an 8-3 edge. The Flash had a response, fighting back to even the ledger at 13-13 to force a Buckeye timeout. The break in action marked the start of a 6-2 OSU run, flipping the script and sending Saint Francis to the benches. This timeout did not have the same effect as Ohio State maintained its momentum winning six of the next nine points for another 25-18 triumph.
Ohio State kept the pedal to the metal in the third, slamming the door shut in a 25-19 clincher. The Buckeyes wrapped it up securing six of the final eight rallies.