COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 8/10 Ohio State men’s volleyball team captured is sixth consecutive MIVA regular season title with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23) victory over conference rival IPFW Friday night in St. John Arena. The conference title is the team’s 24th overall – a conference record.
The Buckeyes honored their three seniors prior to the match – Anthony Hock, Mik Berzins and Shawn Sangrey.
Sangrey had a great senior night as the opposite from Columbia, Pa., notched a match-high 31 kills and added 12 digs for his third straight double-double. The match marked the third time this season Sangrey has reached 30 kills and the seventh double-double of the season. Sangrey added three service aces and one block assist for the Buckeyes.
Berzins also had a solid evening, having 15 kills and five digs. Freshman Michael Henchy totaled a career-high 14 digs, adding seven kills and four blocks (2s, 2a). Redshirt freshman Peter Heinen led the field with 53 assists and sophomore Michael Piechowski totaled a career-high 15 digs.
Ivan Matos led the Mastodons with 17 kills, while libero JW Kieckhefer had a match-best 16 digs. Eddie Rivera and Phil Peterson finished with nine kills each and Rivera added 15 digs. Four Mastodons tallied three blocks in the match.
IPFW (13-13, 5-6 MIVA) opened the first set with a 3-1 lead and went ahead again at 9-6. A kill by Sangrey led to a five-point Buckeye run and another Sangrey kill along with a Hock service ace gave Ohio State a 15-11 advantage. The Mastodons inched back and tied it up at 17 apiece, but the Buckeyes held on for a 25-23 win.
Ohio State (19-8, 9-3 MIVA) took a 5-3 lead in the second set and pushed for an 8-5 advantage. An IPFW kill cut the lead to two at 10-8, but the Buckeyes capitalized on a Mastodon error to go up 14-10. A kill and a solo block by Berzins put Ohio State up at 23-18 and another Berzins kill gave the home squad a 25-20 win.
A kill and service ace by Sangrey led to a 5-1 lead to open set three. The Mastodons battled back to tie the set at 12 apiece and then took their first lead of the set at on back-to-back blocks, 16-14. The two squads battled back and forth, tying the score six times until, at 23-22, IPFW had enough left to take a 25-23 win.
The teams exchanged points and runs to start the fourth and final set. Tied at 8-8, a kill by Sangrey and two Mastodon attack errors gave Ohio State an 11-8 lead. The Buckeyes put together another run for a 15-9 advantage and held on throughout the rest of the set. IPFW inched back progressively and kept the Buckeyes at set point for three straight points until a kill by Berzins sealed the 25-23 win.
The Buckeyes close out the regular season with a non-conference match at George Mason Sunday. The two squads will face off in Fairfax, Va., for a 3 p.m. ET match.