Fort Wayne, IN - In the conference-opener for
both sides, it was the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes that prevailed,
soundly defeating the IPFW Mastodons in three sets, 25-15, 25-20,
In the match's opening set, the visiting Buckeyes jumped out to an early 6-2 lead behind the serve of junior Shawn Sangrey. The Buckeyes continued to build on the early lead, using a late six-point run to take their largest lead of the set at 22-10. A late charge by the 'Dons fell short as the opening set went to the Scarlet and Gray, 25-15.
Ohio State rode five blocks and posted a hitting percentage of .517 in the first set win. For IPFW, the lone bright spot came in senior Darryl Shank's .429 attack percentage with four kills. IPFW managed just a .100 percentage in the set.
A strong start to the second frame saw IPFW battle the Buckeyes to a 9-9 tie early. With Sangrey again on the serve, the Buckeyes rallied for eight consecutive points, including a pair of service aces, to take a convincing 17-9 lead. Again a late rally by IPFW fell short despite superior blocks by Darryl Shank and Rob Samp, as Ohio State eventually closed out the 'Dons 25-20.
In sparking the 8-0 rally, Sangrey posted kills on eight of 10 attacks with a hitting percentage of .700 for the set.
The third, and what would prove to be final, set saw the Mastodons once again battle in the early stages. Led by Shank, the 'Dons gritted their way back, fighting out of an early hole to bring the set to within two points at 16-14, Ohio State. A Buckeye timeout was followed by yet another late-set rally, as Ohio State took nine of the next 11 points to close out the match with a 25-16 set victory.
As a team, the Mastodons managed to hit just .111 overall as the Buckeye frontline tallied 12.5 blocks. Leading IPFW was senior Darryl Shank's 10 kills, followed by five each from sophomores Elon Fyfield and Phil Peterson.
Shaun Dryden posted four digs in just one set of action at the libero position and Samp's one solo and four assist night led all blockers.
Ohio State was led by Sangrey's 17 kills (.571) en route to hitting .419 as a team.
With the loss, the Mastodons drop to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in league play. They return to action tomorrow evening as the Cardinal Stritch Wolves visit Fort Wayne for a 7 p.m. contest.