QUINCY, Ill. – Ohio State men’s volleyball became just the second team in the last 25 years to run through a Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) regular season unbeaten, picking up a road victory at Quincy University to complete a 16-0 conference slate. Loyola-Chicago went 14-0 during MIVA play en route to the 2014 national championship.
The second-ranked Buckeyes (27-2, 16-0 MIVA) departed Quincy’s Pepsi Arena as four-set victors (25-16, 25-27, 25-15, 25-12) Saturday night to set up a rematch exactly one week later in Columbus. As the MIVA Tournament top seed, Ohio State will host the eighth-seeded Hawks in the quarterfinals on April 15 at St. John Arena to begin postseason play.
Offensively, the Buckeyes leaned on a pair of Frenchmen as Maxime Hervoir and Nicolas Szerszen each connected on a match-high 17 kills. Hervoir’s 17 terminations came at a .560 attacking rate (17-3-25) while Szerszen swung .387 (17-5-31). Sanil Thomas received the nod for his second start of the season and responded well. He not only navigated the Buckeyes to a .382 team hitting percentage with 43 assists, but also paced all players with 11 digs. Gabriel Domecus wasn’t far behind, digging up 10 balls to help in stifling Quincy to a .106 team hitting percentage.
Set 1: Quincy’s Anthony Winter missed the mark on the night’s opening serve, cracking the door for Ohio State to lead from start to finish in set number one. Hervoir bounced all four attempts and was flanked by Driss Guessous’ 3-for-3 attacking effort. The Buckeyes attacked .450 for the frame and rolled to a 25-16 triumph.
Set 2: Ohio State dug a sizable hole in the second stanza, falling behind by a half dozen late at 22-16. The Buckeyes then stormed back to quickly even the score at 22-all, forcing Hawk timeouts at 22-19 and 22-22. The comeback was ultimately wasted, however, dropping a 27-25 equalizer to the Hawks.
Set 3: The Buckeyes got back on track in the third, riding Hervoir’s 7-0-8 offensive stat line to a 25-15 winner. Ohio State knocked home 18 kills and dug 16 balls in the dominating effort.
Set 4: Fifteen of the final 18 points went in favor of the Scarlet & Gray to conclude the evening. Ohio State put up the exclamation point in turning a slim 10-9 advantage into the 25-12 lopsided clincher.
The Buckeyes will not travel again for the remainder of the 2017 season, hosting all of their potential MIVA Tournament games (April 15, 19, 22) and serving as the final destination of the NCAA Men’s National Collegiate Volleyball Championship May 4 and May 6.
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