STANFORD, Calif. – High octane offense and serving fireworks led to another win for the No. 1 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team, marking the Buckeyes 28th consecutive victory overall and 13th straight in true road contests. The Buckeyes (5-0) gashed No. 10 Stanford (3-2) for a dozen aces while attacking .379 on 43 total kills. Ohio State has snagged 84 of 102 sets during the victorious stretch.
Miles Johnson’s 15th and final kill of the evening marked the 1,000th of his impressive collegiate career, becoming just the 15th player in school history to reach that milestone. The Carlsbad, Calif., native paced the Scarlet & Gray in kills for the second night in a row and attacked .407 in the process. He also contributed a pair of aces to the OSU total of 12. The last time Ohio State tallied 12 aces was ironically the most recent defeat as well, a five-set loss to Ball State on Feb. 6, 2016.
Nicolas Szerszen accounted for half of the aces total on his own, recording six service snipes. His six aces are tied for the fourth-highest individual match total all-time in Buckeye lore.
Driss Guessous also got in on the serving success, delivering three aces to nicely compliment his six kills on 10 errorless attempts. Fellow middle, Blake Leeson, off-set a slow offensive performance by stuffing The Cardinal six times and out-blocking the entire Stanford squad (five team blocks).
Set 1: Ohio State quickly doubled up The Cardinal, 10-5, powered by four aces in the first 15 rallies. Stanford did not crumble, however, slowly erecting a comeback which eventually matured into a 23-22 upper hand to force a Buckeye timeout. Johnson bounced the next two kills out of the break in action though before Stanford burned a quick T.O. of their own. Szerszen ensured it was a moot point, terminating immediately to close out the opening frame 25-23.
Set 2: In similar fashion, Ohio State sprinted out to another early edge (this time 5-0) only to succumb to a Stanford counter attack once again. The Cardinal jumped ahead 22-21, capping a 6-0 run. Set point never came to fruition for Stanford despite fending off four OSU potential winners by set’s end. Ohio State finally put it to rest on the fifth chance via an overpass obliteration by Christy Blough at 29-27.
Set 3: Ohio State continued to ‘live and die’ at the service line firing range – clipping The Cardinal for five aces in the third frame while simultaneously committing nine service errors. The Buckeyes held off Stanford throughout a tightly-contest set, never relinquishing their lead in the 26-24 clincher. Fittingly, the fans were sent to the parking lot on a Szerszen ace to close out the non-conference tilt.
The upcoming week is a light one for the Scarlet & Gray, competing in a lone match at Saint Francis in Loretto, Pa., on Friday (Jan. 20) at 7 p.m. ET.
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