No. 4 Ohio State Sweeps Grand Canyon
Columbus, Ohio – The fourth-ranked Ohio State (16-2 overall, 9-0 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) men’s volleyball team began a four-match road trip with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-16) victory at Grand Canyon (8-16, 0-5) Sunday night. Buckeye John Klanac posted a team-high 11 points with nine kills (.350), one ace serve and one solo block. Kevin Heine added 10 points with nine kills (.900) and two assist blocks for OSU. Jordon Tarantino recorded a match-high 11.5 points with nine kills (.095), two ace serves and one assist block for Grand Canyon. Jake Wekell added 11 points with 10 kills (.300) and two assist blocks for the Antelopes.
Tied at two in set one, OSU kills from Heine and Jason Tobkin and a Grand Canyon error opened up a 5-2 lead. The Antelopes cut the lead to one at 7-6 with a Taylor Galliano kill. A Mik Berzins-Heine block, a GCU error and kills from Grayson Overman and Klanac gave Ohio State an 11-6 lead. At 21-16, a kill and solo block from Overman made it 23-16, OSU. An Antelope error made it set point at 24-16. An OSU error made it 24-17. Off a Grand Canyon error, Ohio State won the set, 25-17, to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .368 for the set to .000 for the Antelopes.
Set two remained close early and was tied at 10, when a Tarantino ace serve gave Grand Canyon an 11-10 lead. OSU responded with a six-point run to open a 16-11 lead. The run began with kills from Tobkin, Berzins and Klanac and an Antelope error forcing a GCU time out at 14-11. The run continued with a Klanac kill and an Antelope error. A Buckeye error and a Galliano-Wekell block cut the margin to 16-13. Trailing, 19-16, kills from Ben Hunt and Tarantino cut the Buckeye lead to one at 19-18. Kills from Tobkin and Wekell made it 20-19. A kill and solo block from Klanac made it 22-19. Kills from Ben Ponnet and Klanac made it 23-20. A Ponnet kill cut the margin to two at 23-21. A Klanac kill gave OSU set point at 24-21. Ponnet, with a kill, stopped the set point at 24-22. Ohio State won the set, 25-22, with a kill from Berzins to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .609 for the set to .444 for Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon took a 1-0 lead in the third set with a Wekell kill. OSU tied the set at one with a John Tholen kill. Two Antelope errors and an ace serve from Berzins gave Ohio State a 4-1 lead. At 9-6, OSU, a Galliano ace serve and an OSU error cut the lead to one at 9-8. Two Antelope errors made it 11-8 Buckeyes. At 13-11, OSU expanded the lead with kills from Tobkin and Klanac and a GCU error to give Ohio State a 16-11 lead. A Ponnet kill and an OSU error made it 16-13. An Antelope error, a Heine kill and a Heine-Steven Kehoe block made it 19-13. Leading, 22-16, a Tholen kill and an Antelope error gave Ohio State match point at 24-16. The Buckeyes closed out the set with a Tholen solo block to win 25-16 and sweep the match, 3-0. The Buckeyes hit .300 for the set to -.077 for Grand Canyon.
Ohio State hit .435 for the match to .119 for Grand Canyon. The Buckeyes had a 33-32 edge in kills while each squad recorded 31 assists. Antelope Keith Smith posted a match-high 30 assists with OSU’s Kehoe recording 28. Grand Canyon had a 5-4 advantage in ace serves with GCU’s Galliano and Tarantino and OSU’s Berzins sharing match-high honors with two each. The Antelopes gave up 13 service errors to 11 for OSU. Defensively, the Buckeyes had a 24-18 margin in digs with OSU’s Kehoe and Anthony Hock and GCU’s Ponnet sharing match-high honors with six each. At the net, Ohio State had a 6-3 advantage in team blocks. Sharing match-high honors were OSU’s Heine and GCU’s Galliano and Wekell with two assist blocks each.
Ohio State and Grand Canyon will complete the two-match series at 6 p.m. MT Monday in Antelope Gymnasium.