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Feb. 15, 2015

Final Stats

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 12 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (10-2) put an end to its seven-match home stand with an exclamation point, topping Saint Francis University (1-12) in four sets to finish at 7-0 during the extended stretch inside St. John Arena. The Buckeyes now hit the road for nearly an entire month, playing five matches on the road before returning to Columbus competition on March 13 vs. No. 2 Lewis University.

Ohio State toed the service line to the tune of 14 aces, the sixth most in school history. The Bucks entered the week leading the country averaging 2.19 aces per set and maintained that rate through wins over Penn State and Saint Francis. Senior Michael Henchy pounded five aces against The Red Flash while Christy Blough and Miles Johnson each scored thrice from the service stripe.

Ohio State put forth a gritty defensive effort as well, racking up 37 digs in four sets (9.25/set). Gabriel Domecus, donning the libero jersey, dug up a team-high 12 balls with Christy Blough, Henchy, Miles Johnson and Nicolas Szerszen each chipping in a half dozen digs.

Redshirt sophomore Driss Guessous played his first full match of the season and responded with 11 kills at a .529 pace (11-2-17) to go along with three blocks (1s, 2a). Fellow middle man, Dustin Neary, polished off seven kills on just eight errorless and efficient swings.

Four different Buckeyes accounted for a six-ace assault in the opening period. Conversely, a service gaffe from Saint Francis broke up a 9-9 tie midway through and handed Ohio State the advantage for good at 10-9. The Buckeyes slowly pulled away from there and sealed the deal at 25-21.

Both offenses bogged down a bit in the second stanza, dipping to attack percentages of .212 (OSU) and .211 (SFU). Carried by seven Domecus digs, the Buckeyes dug a total of 17 balls and nearly scraped out an ugly winner. Saint Francis’ Stephen Braswell provided back-to-back points with a kill and ace, however, to transform a 23-all deadlock into a match-tying 25-23 second set triumph for The Red Flash.

Saint Francis then stayed hot in jumping out to a 3-1 lead in set number three. The SFU spark was quickly snuffed though as Ohio State gathered 24 of the next 32 tallies en route to a lopsided 25-11 ledger. The Buckeyes threw up three blocks and The Red Flash struggled to find the court with five additional attack errors.

The fourth and final frame was a one-sided affair, too. Blough set up 16 assists in steering the Buckeye attack to a .682 percentage (16-1-22). Johnson and Neary both demolished five kills on six swings, overpowering Saint Francis in a 25-16 clincher.

Ohio State travels to the state of Indiana next weekend for a pair of tilts versus Top-15 squads. Friday (Feb. 20) brings a match-up with #9 IPFW before a Saturday showdown at #15 Ball State.