- #8 Ohio State Def. #5 Loyola Chicago 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 39-41, 25-19)
- #8 Ohio State 18-4 (9-2 MIVA); #5 Loyola Chicago 19-5 (9-2 MIVA)
- Columbus, Ohio
- Box score
Columbus, Ohio – Back in Chicago, Ohio State garnered a 2-0 set lead, but let things slip away behind difficulties in serve receive. With a first-place tie on the line in the MIVA, the Buckeyes may have got some deja vu after Loyola Chicago won a 41-39 third set trailing 2-0. This time though, Ohio State shut the door on a potential comeback for a gigantic victory.
Neither team found a rhythm serving the ball, as Ohio State notched 25 service errors to five aces with Loyola Chicago at 20 service errors to one ace. The biggest key though was that the Buckeyes were aced just once after they were at the hand of nine – with plenty more bad passes – in the first go around.
In total, with better passing coming, Ohio State hit .353 compared to .265 for Loyola Chicago. The Ramblers won the battle of the block 10-9, with the two even digs (44-44) and assists favoring the Buckeyes (63-45).
Individually, Ohio State established Nicolas Szerszen (20 kills, .295, 13 digs, three aces) and Maxime Hervoir (24 kills, .463, 10 digs, four blocks) early and often. Blake Leeson (10 kills, .562, four blocks) also came up big with Sanil Thomas (60 assists, five digs) facilitating a strong attack despite serving troubles.
While Jeff Jendryk (11 kills, .526, three blocks) was powerful for Loyola Chicago, the other top three in attacks failed to register over a .222 mark – with two of the group under .190. The Ramblers won an incredible fourth set that seemingly wouldn’t end, but may have used up all their energy in doing so, as the duo of Szerszen and Hervoir were too much. In fact, Hervoir had just one less kill individually than the top two for Loyola Chicago in Ricky Gevis (13 kills, .158, seven digs, five blocks) and Collin Mahan (12 kills, .188, six digs).
Next up, Ohio State faces #9 Lewis at home on Saturday while Loyola Chicago will take on #18 McKendree on the road.
Courtesy of Ohio State:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team wrestled control of its own destiny in pursuit of a conference-best 27th Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) regular season championship and the top seed for the conference tournament by beating No. 6 Loyola (19-5, 9-2 MIVA) in four sets (25-20, 25-16, 39-41, 25-19). Maxime Hervoir shouldered the largest load offensively, connecting on a career-high 24 kills while attacking .463 to lift Ohio State (18-4, 9-2 MIVA) to victory.
With the win, Ohio State now sits in the driver’s seat for the MIVA Tournament No. 1 seed. If the Buckeyes win each of the last three matches, which is no easy tasks facing three consecutive Top-15 squads, they clinch at least a share of the MIVA regular season title and hosting duties throughout the league tourney as the top seed. If Ohio State and Loyola Chicago finish with identical MIVA marks, the Buckeyes would win the No. 1-seed tiebreaker because of a 5-to-4 sets won advantage in the season series against the Ramblers.
Courtesy of Loyola Chicago:
Three Ramblers reached double figures in kills as No. 9 Ohio State (18-4, 9-2 MIVA) dealt No. 6 Loyola University Chicago (19-5, 9-2 MIVA) a 25-20, 25-16, 39-41, 25-19 defeat this evening at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
How It Happened
Ohio State wasted no time in taking control in the first set as it raced out to a 6-1 lead following a Nicolas Szerszen service ace. Loyola used a 3-0 spurt midway through the set that was punctuated by a block from Ricky Gevis and Paul Narup to pull back to within 19-15, but the Ramblers would get no closer for the remainder of the set as Ohio State picked up a 25-20 victory.
Loyola shook off a slow start to the second set to pull even at 9-9 after a solo block by Jeff Jendryk. Ohio State responded with four unanswered points to assume control, 13-9, and force a Rambler timeout. A Buckeye service error saw Loyola close to within three, 16-13, before the hosts rattled off seven of the set’s final eight points en route to earn a 25-16 win.
With Ohio State holding on to a 14-12 lead in the third set, Collin Mahan sparked a 6-1 Rambler run that sent Loyola in front, 18-15, and prompted an Ohio State timeout. The Buckeyes would roar back, taking a 24-23 lead following a Rambler attack error to set up match point. What followed was a marathon finish to the frame, with both teams fighting off multiple deciding points. Consecutive kills from Mahan and Gevis turned in a 39-38 deficit into a 40-39 advantage before an Ohio State mishit clinched a thrilling 41-39 triumph for the Ramblers that forced a fourth set.
Ryan Jamison hammered a kill to edge Loyola out to a 3-1 lead in the fourth set as the Ramblers looked to carry over momentum. Ohio State responded with three straight points to take a 4-3 lead. The two teams would trade points for the middle stages of the frame before back-to-back Buckeye scores gave Ohio State a 14-11 advantage. Gevis, Narup and Jamison teamed up a triple block that helped Loyola trim its deficit to 18-16 but that would prove to be as close as the Ramblers could get, as Ohio State claimed a 25-19 win.
Looking At The Numbers
– Gevis paced the Rambler attack on the night with 13 kills.
– Mahan (12) and Jendryk (11) also reached double figures in kills.
– Garrett Zolg dished out 39 assists and recorded 11 digs.
– Maxime Hervoir ripped a game-high 24 kills to lead Ohio State.
Loyola looks to bounce back on Saturday when it visits McKendree. First serve is set for 7 p.m.