March 1, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7 Ohio State men’s volleyball team survived a late Loyola surge to top the Ramblers 3-2 (25-16, 25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13) in a MIVA match Friday night in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes extend their current win streak to 10 matches and are 12-2 overall and a perfect 5-0 in conference play.
Senior Chen Levitan led the Buckeyes with a career-high 19 kills and finished with two service aces. Sophomore Michael Henchy totaled 15 kills, while Andrew Lutz had 14 with 10 digs. Senior Grayson Overman had 11 kills with a team-best 4 blocks (1s, 3a) and libero Brenan Anderson had a match-high 12 digs.
The Ramblers (10-8, 3-3) were led by Joseph Smalzer and Thomas Jaeschke with 19 kills apiece. Setter Peter Hutz had 54 assists, while Dainis Berzins had 11 kills.
The Buckeyes took a quick 6-4 lead to start the first set. Kills from John Tholen and Levitan set the score at 10-8 and a kill by Lutz triggered an 8-1 Ohio State run for a 20-12 advantage. The Buckeyes took the set on another kill from Lutz, 25-16.
Locked at four apiece in the second set, a Loyola service error followed by a kill by Peter Heinen gave Ohio State a 6-4 lead. Kills from Levitan and Lutz pushed Ohio State ahead to a 10-6 advantage to force a Loyola timeout. Later in the set, Loyola inched its way back to come within a point at 16-15, however a kill by Tholen sent the Buckeyes on a 4-0 run, 20-15. Ohio State went in to the intermission with a 25-20 set win.
The two squads battled to start the third set until a 4-1 Buckeye run gave the home squad a 10-8 lead. The Ramblers responded with a 6-1 run of their own and took a 14-11 advantage. Ohio State tied the set at 16 and the two teams exchanged points until Loyola faced set point at 24-23 and a kill by Jaeschke sealed a 25-23 set win for the Ramblers.
Loyola carried their momentum in to the fourth set and quickly took a 9-4 lead. The visiting squad held on to its advantage throughout the set and lead by as much as seven points at 21-14. The Ramblers forced a fifth stanza with a 25-20 set win.
After starting slow in the fifth set, a kill and service by Levitan locked the set at three apiece. Another kill by Levitan followed by three-straight kills from Lutz gave Ohio State a 10-7 advantage. Loyola battled back to tie the set at 10, but a Rambler error followed by a Henchy/Heinen/Overman block lifted the Buckeyes to at 15-13 win.
Ohio State returns to action Saturday night and face No. 10 Lewis at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena. Admission is free and spectators will have the chance to take a photo with the 2011 National Championship trophy.