Tenth-Ranked Buckeyes Outlast George Mason, 3-2

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 10 Ohio State men’s volleyball team defeated George Mason, 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 15-11), Thursday night in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes improve to 4-3, while the Patriots fall to 1-2 on the season.

Senior opposite Shawn Sangrey led all student-athletes with 20 kills and had a team-best five blocks (1s, 4a). Senior Mik Berzins finished with 12 kills and added 11 digs, while classmate Anthony Hock had a match-high 13 digs. Junior setter Kyle Lawrence dished out a match-best 50 assists.

Three Patriots had double-digit kills in Michael Kvidahl (14), Joe Norton (13) and Jonathan Lutz (10). Piotr Dabrowski had a match-high nine blocks (2s, 7a) and setter Pete Cuppernull had 48 assists. 

After exchanging back-and-forth points until the 12-12 mark of the first set, the Buckeyes fell behind after the Patriots notched five-consecutive points. Down 20-14, Ohio State carded six of the next eight points to cut the deficit to two at 22-20, but two Patriot kills and a Buckeye error gave the set to George Mason, 25-21.

The score for the second set would flip-flop in the Buckeyes’ favor. Trailing George Mason, 10-6, and forced to call timeout, Ohio State fought back to tie the score at 13-13 after a kill from Sangrey. Tallying the next two points after a Patriot error and another Sangrey kill, Ohio State did not trail in the set again, winning 25-21.

Tied 3-3 after exchanging points to open the third set, Ohio State took the lead off a kill from redshirt freshman middle blocker Shawn Herron. The Buckeyes maintained their advantage until the Patriots threatened with three-consecutive points to tie the score at 22-22.  Calling a timeout, the Scarlet and Gray made a three-point run of their own to finish the set at 25-22.

Taking the first point of the set off an ace from Lawrence, Ohio State was up 13-10 before the Patriots came back to tie the score at 14-14. Notching six of the next nine points, George Mason jumped to a 20-17 lead to force a Buckeye timeout. Despite coming back within two, a Patriot kill from outside hitter Kvidahl secured the set for George Mason, 25-23.  

After the Patriots jumped out to a 3-2 lead in the final frame, a kill from Sangrey and back-to-back George Mason errors put the Buckeyes up 4-3. Tied at 4 apiece, a kill from Berzins triggered a three-point run for a 7-4 lead. Ohio State sealed the match with another kill by Berzins, winning 15-11.

The Buckeyes will return to action Sunday, Jan. 22 when they take on Saint Francis at St. John Arena in Columbus for a 3 p.m. match.

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