-- BTN Student U (@BTNStudentU) February 11, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State increased the margin of victory as the night went on in a Top-15 triumph over Fort Wayne. The No. 5 Buckeyes started slow against 14th-ranked Fort Wayne in a 25-23 opening set before riding the wave of a 7-1 run to end the second set, 25-19, and rolling past the Mastodons in a 25-14 third frame.
The snowball effect was in full force Saturday night in St. John Arena, beginning with a sluggish 25-23 first set. Ohio State's side-out percentage jumped from 58% to 68% to 73% in the final period as the Buckeyes regained service possession on 11 of 15 receptions. Jake Hanes' individual performance mirrored that of the team's upward trajectory as the match ensued. He capped it off by rocking 7-of-9 attempts for kills in the lopsided clinching third.
SET 1: Superb service bailed out the Scarlet & Gray as both squads crawled along at a .143 attacking rate. The Buckeyes connected for four aces and snuck away as 25-23 victors.
SET 2: Mayhem in the middle was inflicted by Nick Laffin and Blake Leeson, each terminating three kills on three errorless attempts for a six-pack of puntos. The Mastodons scrapped their way to an 18-18 tie despite a 15-7 deficit in kills. From there it was all Buckeyes, however, securing seven of the next eight points for a 25-19 winner.
SET 3: Competitiveness went off the rails in the third, thanks in large part to Hanes' dominance. His seven kills and an ace carried the offense while, as a whole, Ohio State out-dug the Mastodons 13-6. Add in another three Buckeye aces and it resulted in a 25-14 clincher.
St. John Arena hosts another MIVA match on Thursday (Feb. 15) at 7 p.m. vs. Lindenwood.