PHOENIX, Ariz. – The No. 1 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team opened its trip to the desert with a four-set victory (25-19, 17-25, 26-24, 25-23) over Grand Canyon University (9-6) Friday night (Feb. 24). The Buckeyes overcame a rowdy environment and 29 service errors to register their 39th consecutive win overall.
The latest win also ensured Ohio State remains atop the MIVA standings at 7-0, ahead of 7-2 Lewis and both GCU and Loyola at 5-2.
Maxime Hervoir was inserted into the match early in set number two and delivered a dazzling performance. The junior outside hitter put away 11 of 15 attempts with a lone error, attacking .667 for the night. He added in three block assists and an ace as well to rack up 13.5 points, second most on the team despite only playing in three of four sets. Miles Johnson concluded the night as Ohio State’s premier point producer, totaling 20.5 tallies on 17 kills, four blocks (1s, 3a) and an ace.
Christy Blough not only dished out 46 assists while guiding the OSU offense to a .354 team hitting percentage, but also paced the Buckeyes with nine digs. Blough found an effective rhythm with his middles, connecting with Driss Guessous and Blake Leeson for a combined 19 kills.
• Ohio State is riding a 39-match winning streak
• Marks the longest winning streak in OSU Athletics history for teams competing in head-to-head competition
• The Buckeyes last suffered an NCAA loss on February 6, 2016
• Ohio State has won 117 of 140 sets (84%) during the victorious stretch
• The streak includes six wins over Top-5 opponents and nearly half (18) against teams ranked inside the Top-12
• Also included in the streak are 17 straight wins in true road matches
• Loyola owns 40-match run in 2014-15 for the longest in MIVA history
• UCLA set the all-time record of 47 straight in both 1979-80 and 1983-85
Set 1: Johnson powered his way to six kills and three blocks (one solo) -- responsible for eight points including the 25th of the set. The entire GCU team garnered just eight points of its own accord, benefitting from 11 unforced errors by the Buckeyes. Ohio State swung .391 for the set in capturing a 25-19 winner.
Set 2: Grand Canyon then handed the Buckeyes just their sixth set loss of the season, the last five of which have all come in Set #2. The Antelopes rebounded from a hitting percentage in the red (negative-.150) for the opening frame by attacking .476 in the second stanza. Grand Canyon went ahead 3-2 early and never looked back in a 25-17 triumph to even the match at one set apiece.
Set 3: Momentum continued for the Antelopes in the following period, jumping ahead 6-2 to force an OSU timeout. The Buckeyes responded well to the break in action though, snagging 11 of the next 16 points to pull ahead 13-11 for a GCU timeout. It was then Grand Canyon’s turn to mount a comeback, battling out of a 21-17 hole to earn the first set-point at 24-23. Ohio State successfully fended it off, however, and ripped off three straight rallies to take it 26-24.
Set 4: A dozen tied scores and five lead changes occurred in the final set. Ohio State’s aggressive approach continued, evidenced by 18 kills flanked by 11 more unforced errors. The Buckeyes held off one final push from GCU to escape, 25-23.
These same two teams meet again on Sunday (Feb. 26) at 3 p.m. ET/1 p.m. MT, moving to Antelope Gymnasium.