COLUMBUS, Ohio - The eighth-ranked Ohio State men's volleyball team swept MIVA rival Ball State, 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-17), Friday evening in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes improved to 10-4 overall and 2-0 in conference play with the win.
Senior opposite Shawn Sangrey totaled a match-high 13 kills, adding five digs and two block assists. A trio of Buckeyes in Anthony Hock, Grayson Overman and John Tholen finished with seven kills, while Hock had a team-best six digs. Overman added six blocks (1s, 5a) and senior Mik Berzins finished with five kills and five digs.
Larry Wrather led Ball State (7-5, 1-3 MIVA) with 10 kills and six digs. Jamion Hartley finished with eight kills and Matt Leske and Kevin Owens had three block assists for the Cardinals. Setter Graham McIlvaine totaled 28 assists on the night.
The two squads opened the match exchanging points in the first set until a Cardinal attack error and a kill by Berzins put the Buckeyes up two at 6-4. A kill by Tholen and back-to-back Ball State errors gave Ohio State a six-point advantage at 16-10, while another kill by Tholen triggered a 6-0 run for a 22-12 Buckeye lead. OSU took the set, 25-15.
Ball State jumped out to a quick 6-1 advantage and pushed its lead to nine at 15-6. Ohio State wasn't out done and looked to mount a major come back starting with a five-point rally highlighted by two blocks from Berzins. A pair of kills by Sangrey, one from Hock and a block by Tholen/Sangrey cut the Cardinal lead to two at 18-16. A Tholen kill locked the set at 19-19 and two-straight Ball State errors gave Ohio State its first lead at 21-20.The Buckeyes closed out the set on a three-point run when a service ace by Mike Stefani solidified the 25-22 win.
Ohio State took an early two-point lead on a Berzins service ace at the start of set three, 3-1. A service ace by Tholen pushed the Buckeyes to an 8-5 advantage and the squad held on to its three-point lead throughout the middle part of the set. Up 17-14, kills by Overman and Sangrey and another Berzins ace made the score 20-14 and a service ace by Hock gave Ohio State a 25-17 win.
The Buckeyes return to St. John Arena Sunday, facing Carthage in a 3 p.m. ET match.