COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 8 Ohio State men's volleyball team closed out the weekend with a sweep at No. 14 Loyola-Chicago, defeating the Ramblers, 3-0 (25-18, 25-9, 25-19). The win moved the Buckeyes to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in MIVA play.
Seniors Shawn Sangrey and Mik Berzins continued to lead the squad both offensively and defensively. Sangrey totaled a match-best 16 kills, while having three digs and two blocks (1s, 1a). Berzins finished with 11 kills and had six digs with four blocks assists. Setter Peter Heinen tallied 37 assists, while redshirt junior John Tholen had a match-high eight blocks (2s, 6a).
The Ramblers (8-8, 1-3 MIVA) were led by Cody Caldwell and Mike Bunting as each finished with eight kills. Caldwell totaled a team-best six digs with a service ace. Setter Matt Mirick dished out 22 assists, while Kyle Nail and Eric Daliege each had four block assists.
Loyola took a quick two-point lead in the first set at 3-1, but the Buckeye locked the score at 7-7 on a service ace from Grayson Overman. Ohio State grabbed its first lead of the set on a solo block by Tholen and a kill by Berzins, 9-8, and battled ahead for a 13-11 advantage. The Buckeyes slowly added to their lead throughout the rest of the set and a kill by Sangrey and a Loyola service error solidified the 25-18 win.
Ohio State opened set two on a five-point run and back-to-back service aces by Sangrey gave the Buckeyes a 10-2 lead. Four straight OSU kills set the score 15-4 and two blocks and a kill by Sangrey led to a 25-9 set two victory.
After the Ramblers had a 3-1 early lead in the final set, Ohio State responded with a 4-1 run for a 5-4 lead. The two teams battled back and forth for a lead until tied at 7-7, the Buckeyes opened with a five-point run for a 12-7 advantage. OSU pushed its lead to seven at 17-10, but Loyola whittled away to come within five at 20-15. The Buckeyes, however, were too much for the home team and Ohio State closed out the set with three straight points, 25-19.
Ohio State continues its road swing, traveling to Pennsylvania for a pair of non-conference matches. The Buckeyes face St. Francis in Loretto, Pa., at 7 p.m. ET, March 2. The team follows with another 7 p.m. ET match at nationally-ranked Penn State, March 3.