- #1 Ohio State def. #10 Loyola 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19)
- Ohio State moves to 13-0 (4-0 MIVA); Loyola falls to 7-4 (3-1 MIVA)
- St. John Arena, Columbus, Ohio
- Attendance: 1,571
- Match Stats
#1 Ohio State’s magical 2017 season rolled on Saturday night for their 36th-straight victory against NCAA opponents. After breaking the school record with win number 34 in a row last week, Ohio State faced a tough test of two top-10 opponents this week, and after beating #6 Lewis on Thursday and #10 Loyola on Saturday.
The win broke a tie atop the MIVA Conference standings and gave the Buckeyes sole possession of the #1 position as they head toward March’s MIVA tournament.
Ohio State’s offense carried them to a 3-0 sweep – they hit .412 as a team, led by their stars Miles Johnson and Nicolas Szerszen. Johnson finished the game with 18 kills on 27 swings (.630 percentage), while Nicolas Szerszen had 13 kills on 23 swings (.391 percentage). Ohio State setter Christy Blough had 38 assists in the game, with his team hitting .567 on those in-system sets.
The junior Szerszen chipped in 2 aces (a bright spot in an otherwise challenging day at the service line for the Buckeyes), and Driss Guessous had 5 total blocks.
Loyola hit .211 as a team, led by Ben Plaisted with 11 (.333 percentage). They were almost helpless to stop the Ohio State attack though, recording just 2 team blocks in the game. Loyola opened with a .435 percentage in the 1st set, but after that wasn’t enough to take the frame, those precentages fell off – .000 and .207, respectively.
The game was wrapped in a swift 1 hour and 16 minutes in front of a crowd of 1,571 in St. John Arena, which is due to host this year’s national championship tournament.
Courtesy Ohio State Athletics:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 1 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team secured sole possession of first place in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) standings at the quarter mark of the season, moving to 4-0 in MIVA play and 13-0 overall with a straight sets (25-22, 15-18, 25-19) triumph over No. 10 Loyola (7-4, 3-1 MIVA).
The Buckeyes attacked .412 as a team, led by the dynamic duo of Miles Johnson and Nicolas Szerszen. Johnson racked up 18 kills on 27 swings with a lone error (.630) while Szerszen connected on 13 kills at a .391 attacking rate.
Szerszen added a team-high 11 digs for the double-double and Driss Guessous handled the defensive load up front with his five blocks (two solo).
• Ohio State is riding a 36-match winning streak
• Marks the longest winning streak in OSU Athletics history for teams competing in head-to-head competition
• The Buckeyes last suffered an NCAA loss on February 6, 2016
• Ohio State has won 108 of 128 sets (84%) during the victorious stretch
• The streak includes six wins over Top-5 opponents and half (18) against teams ranked inside the Top-12
• Also included in the streak are 16 straight wins in true road matches
• Loyola owns 40-match run in 2014-15 while UCLA is believed to own the all-time record of 47 straight (1983-85)
Set 1: Johnson made it blatantly clear right away that he was a force to be reckon with Saturday night, opening the match with a kill on the very first point. He would close out the first set as well with a termination, his seventh of the set on 10 errorless attempts. Christy Blough dished out 16 assists as the Buckeyes attacked .469 with 18 kills in a 25-22 winner.
Set 2: Johnson continued to pile it on in set number two, bouncing five of his six attempts. Ohio State’s blocking effort was the top story, however, stuffing the Ramblers five times. Despite racing out a 3-0 edge, Loyola couldn’t muster a formidable threat by mid-set watching an 11-11 score quickly move in favor of the Buckeyes 20-14. Ohio State tacked on another tally to its advantage by set’s end, entering intermission with a 25-18 win in -hand.
Set 3: Ohio State continued to defend the Ramblers well in third, digging a dozen balls (seven by Szerszen) to limit Loyola at a .207 hitting efficiency. And Johnson provided another half dozen kills as the Buckeyes slammed the door shut, 25-19. Ohio State ended the evening on a 13-6 run.
The Buckeyes return to St. John Arena next week for two more MIVA matches on Thursday (Feb. 17) and Sunday (Feb. 19).
Courtesy Loyola Athletics:
Final Score: No. 1 Ohio State 3, No. 10 Loyola 0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19)
Records: Ohio State (13-0, 4-0 MIVA); Loyola (7-4, 3-1 MIVA)
Location: St. John Arena — Columbus, Ohio
No. 1 Ohio State captured its 36th consecutive win as it defeated the No. 10 Loyola University Chicago men’s volleyball team by a final count of 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19) this evening inside St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio. With the win, the Buckeyes move to 13-0 (4-0 MIVA), while the Ramblers fall to 7-4 (3-1 MIVA).
How It Happened
Ohio State jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the first set following a Nicolas Szerszen service ace. Loyola stayed within striking distance before slowly battling its way back into the set. With the Buckeyes holding a 14-9 edge, Will Tischler sparked a 4-0 Loyola run that saw the Maroon & Gold pull back to within one, 14-13. Ben Plaisted pulled the Ramblers level, 16-16, before Ohio State used a 3-0 spurt to regain control en route to picking up a 25-22 victory.
Loyola took advantage of some early Buckeye errors to open up a 3-0 lead in the second set. Ohio State roared back with three unanswered points of its own tie the score at 3-3. Another Plaisted kill evened the set up at 11 apiece ahead of a 4-0 run that put the hosts up, 15-11. Loyola would get no closer than three for the rest of the set as Ohio State picked up a 25-18 win.
The Ramblers eased out to a slim 6-4 edge courtesy of a service ace from Jeff Jendryk in the early stages of the third set. Back-to-back Plaisted kills broke an 8-8 tie and sent Loyola in front, 10-8, shortly after. With the Ramblers holding a 12-10 lead, Ohio State took off on a 5-1 run to jump back on top, 15-13. A Buckeye attack error, coupled with Plaisted’s final kill of the night, knotted the score up at 15-15 but the Buckeyes used another surge that would see them score six of the next seven points to create separation as they picked up a 25-19 win.
Inside The Box Score
– Plaisted finished with a team-best 11 kills to lead Loyola, which was held to a .211 hitting percentage on the evening.
– Ian Cowen dished out 19 assists for the Ramblers.
– Miles Johnson paced the Ohio State attack with a match-high 18 kills.
Loyola returns home on Thursday to open up a three-game MIVA homestand against Fort Wayne. First serve against the Mastodons is set for 7 p.m. from inside Gentile Arena.