#10 Ohio State Outlasts IPFW, 3-1

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Mastodon defense totaled 10 blocks and held the Buckeye offense in check for most of the contest, but behind Shawn Sangrey's 31 kills, the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes held on to down IPFW 3-1 on Friday evening in Columbus, Ohio.

IPFW's three-match winning streak comes to an end, as the Mastodons move to 14-12 overall (5-6 MIVA) with the hard-fought road loss. Ohio State sweeps the season-series with the win and improves to 17-8 (9-4 MIVA).

Ivan Matos led the 'Dons with 17 kills and three blocks, while Eddie Rivera posted nine kills. JW Kieckhefer totaled a game-high 16 digs. At the setter spot, Adam Quinn managed 48 assists. IPFW recorded a .204 hitting-mark against Ohio State.

A pair of kills each from Corey Frain and Matos opened the Mastodon scoring in the first set, as the visitors moved out to a 10-7 lead. Sangrey matched with a kill on the next point to ignite an 8-1 Buckeye run, putting the game at 15-11. Down four, Phil Peterson spiked a point, then Matos and Ramon Burgos added kills to even the frame at 17-17. As soon as the 'Dons tied the score, Ohio State returned to formed, earning kills from Sangrey to grab set point at 24-22. Burgos blasted a kill to put the game within one, but the Buckeyes finished with a kill on the next play to win set one, 25-23.

The teams traded points early in the second set, before Buckeye Mik Berzins strung together two straight kills to put Ohio State ahead 10-6. The 'Dons picked up kills from Quinn and E. Rivera to stay within striking distance at 16-13, but another Sangrey kill on the following possession moved the home team in front by four once again. Frain tagged a service ace and Burgos fired a kill to keep the 'Dons on the attack, but a late block and kill from Berzins handed Ohio State set two, 25-20.

In a tightly-contested third set, the Mastodons fell behind early 5-1, but stormed back thanks to kills from Peterson and Bryan Saunders to tie the game at 12-12. Tied at 14-14, Matos and Rob Samp teamed up for two-straight team blocks to jump IPFW in front 16-14. A kill from Samp and Frain held the advantage to 19-18, before Ohio State ultimately tied the game at 20-20. With the game on the line, Samp fired a crucial kill, then E. Rivera blasted a kill on set point to hand IPFW set three, 25-23.

Needing to win the next set to force a fifth and final game, the 'Dons started nicely in the fourth set, as Peterson, Saunders and E. Rivera all logged kills to give the visitors a 6-5 lead. Unfortunately for IPFW, the Buckeyes returned to Sangrey for points, and the senior didn't disappoint, firing back-to-back kills to put Ohio State ahead 7-6. IPFW errors and two more Sangrey points followed a short time later, as the home team took its biggest lead of the frame at 18-12. Behind half a dozen, the Mastodons didn't fold up shop, however, instead they answered back to pull within three at 20-17. Despite the late run and avoiding two match points, the Mastodons fell short on the third chance with a block attempt, leading to a 3-1 Ohio State match win.

IPFW returns home for its final regular-season contest of the 2012 season, when #14 Loyola enters the Gates Sports Center. Match time is set for 7:00 p.m. EST.

Note: Eight Mastodon seniors will be honored prior to the match with a ceremony held at center court.

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