April 11, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 11 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team celebrated the careers of its senior class Saturday night in St. John Arena, capping off Senior Night with a 3-0 victory (25-23, 25-17, 25-21) over No. 14 IPFW (17-10, 7-7 MIVA). Ohio State (21-6, 11-3 MIVA) completed a season sweep of the Mastodons and clinched a top-3 seed for the upcoming conference tournament.
All five senior student-athletes contributed to the win, led by a combined 11 blocks from Michael Henchy and Shawn Herron. Henchy paced the offensive unit as well, terminating 14 kills on 25 swings with just three errors (.440). Herron was on the attack, too, putting away eight of 14 errorless swings for a .571 hitting percentage. Andrew Lutz clinched the second stanza by blasting a kill off the face of an IPFW player for the 25th point. Mitch Beal and Dustan Neary each recorded a dig and served thrice.
Sophomore setter Christy Blough continued his elevated play since returning from injury four matches ago. He crafted 40 more assists against the Mastodons, running his per set average to 12.77 assists over the past two weekends. Freshman Nicolas Szerszen connected with Blough for 10 kills, swinging .467 (10-3-15) for the match. The Buckeyes attacked at a .359 clip (47-14-92) as a team.
IPFW held the upperhand for the majority of set number one, but failed to do so by set’s end. Beal checked in trailing 23-22 before serving out the final three points of a 25-23 OSU triumph. He dropped in a couple of short serves, setting up easy blocks for Henchy and Herron on point 23, and a Henchy solo swat for the 24th tally. Henchy kept the train rolling in the final point, ripping a kill to complete the come-from-behind winner.
Ohio State nearly tripled up the Mastodons with 17 second-set kills compared to just a half dozen for IPFW. The Buckeyes swung .406 for the frame and pulled away with a five-point run midway through the set that transformed a one-point deficit (14-13) into an 18-14 edge. Moments later, another five consecutive points went in favor of the Scarlet & Gray to wrap up the set 25-17.
Blough kept the pedal to the metal in set three, divvying up 14 assists as the Bucks attacked .444 and cruised to a 25-21 final nail. Ohio State led by as many as six points, including a 24-18 advantage. The Mastodons made a last-second flurry to climb within three points at 24-21 before ultimately succumbing to the Buckeye brute.