— BTN Student U (@BTNStudentU) January 26, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sanil Thomas disseminated 13.0 assists per set, guiding the Ohio State (4-2) offensive attack to a .448 team hitting efficiency in a 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-21) dismissing of Saint Francis (4-5). Redshirt freshman Jake Hanes was the top beneficiary of Thomas' dishes, connecting for a team-high and personal career-best 19 kills.
Hanes was flanked offensively by Nicolas Szerszen (11 kills), Maxime Hervoir (nine kills) and Blake Leeson (six kills). Hervoir tacked on four service aces to his stat line, running up his points total to 13.5 (also recorded a block assist). Hanes was responsible for 20 points by night's end.
It was all hands on deck defensively with 27 digs dispersed among eight different Buckeyes. Szerszen and Thomas led the way with a half dozen digs apiece.
SET 1: Hanes and Hervoir combined for 13.5 points, accompanied by Leeson's three kills on four attempts. The Buckeyes shot themselves in the foot with nine service errors, however, opening the door for a tightly-contested set. Hervoir's production mostly came in crunch time, delivering three kills during the final eight rallies, including the set clincher at 25-23.
SET 2: Ohio State came out guns blazing in the second, leading from start to finish. Szerszen replaced Hervoir as Hanes' sidekick offensively while Leeson terminated 3-of-4 attacks once again. Thomas accumulated 13 asissts, as he would in all three sets, to steer the Buckeyes to a .560 hitting percentage.
SET 3: Saint Francis rebounded following intermission, garnering a five-point edge at 12-7. From there the Buckeyes ran off nine of the next 12 points to pull ahead for the first time at 16-15. The Red Flash didn't back down, tying the score back up at 17-, 18-, 19-, 20- and 21-all. At 21-21, Saint Francis committed a service miscue, jumpstarting a four-point run to close the door for Ohio State. Following the SFU error, Casey Pieper and Szerszen paired up for consecutive blocks. Hervoir's ensuing serve was originally deemed out of bounds and a point favor of the Red Flash. Head coach Pete Hanson elected to use a replay challenge though. His inclination proved accurate when the call was reversed and Ohio State walked off on an Hervoir ace.
The Scarlet & Gray play again on Sunday (Jan. 28), playing host to No. 8 Penn State for a 2 p.m. tilt.