STANFORD, Calif. – The No. 1 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team stormed into Maples Pavilion Friday night, bombarding The Cardinal with 44 kills while attacking .403 as a team. Ohio State out-killed Stanford by 18, sweeping the nation’s 10th-ranked squad in successively improving manner – adding two points to its winning margin in each subsequent set (25-23, 25-21, 25-19).
The Buckeyes have now notched 27 consecutive wins dating back to Feb. 6, 2016. Ohio State has won 81 of 99 sets during the victorious stretch and the streak includes 12 straight triumphs in true road matches.
Miles Johnson and Nicolas Szerszen were responsible for nearly 60 percent of Ohio State’s points, piling up 13 kills at a .476 hitting clip and 12 kills at a .333 attacking rate, respectively. Driss Guessous chipped in 11.5 points as well, posting 10 kills and three block assists. Overall, the Buckeyes attacked .403 with Christy Blough averaging 13 assists per set and tying for the team lead with a half dozen digs.
Ohio State took control early on and trailed for only one rally, 2-1 in the third set, throughout the entire evening. In fact, the score squared up all even on just 12 occasions in the Top-10 contest.
Set 1: Johnson got it going right away in the night’s most highly-contested frame, a 25-23 squeaker in the first. The Carlsbad, Calif., native sole-handedly matched Stanford’s six-kill team total to help counterbalance the Buckeyes’ nine service errors. The Cardinal rejected five OSU attack attempts as well, keeping the ledger tight. Blough ultimately connected with Szerszen for a set-clinching kill at 25-23, however.
Set 2: Johnson continued to bring it in the second stanza, driving home five more kills to lead the way. Szerszen actually paced the team on total points though, complimenting his three kills with two aces and a pair of block assists. He bonded with Blake Leeson for the latter denial, again securing the 25th Buckeye tally (25-23).
Set 3: An elongated service stay by Reese Devilbiss broke up the floodgates for Ohio State in the third. Knotted at 4-4, Devilbiss’ serving shift finished off a 6-0 run which proved to be too much to overcome for Stanford by set’s end. The Cardinal lurched back within two tallies thrice before the Buckeyes regained the six-point cushion in a closing 25-19 score.
Same teams. Same time. Different location. A rematch will take place Saturday night, moving from Maples Pavilion to Burnham Pavilion & Ford Center.