Ohio State Men Tie School Record With 32nd-Straight Win

  0 Braden Keith | January 29th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, MIVA, MPSF, News

Match Stats

  • #1 Ohio State Buckeyes def. #4 Long Beach State 49ers 3-1 (25-22, 24-26, 25-21, 26-24)
  • Ohio State moves to 9-0, LBSU falls to 7-2
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Attendance: 1,441
  • Match Stats

The #1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes extended their winning streak against NCAA opponents to 32 on Saturday night – and they didn’t do it by rolling over any sort of cupcake opponent eater. The home team took a 3-1 victory over Long Beach State, which tied the school record of 32-straight games.

The old record was set between 1969 and 1970, when a 24-0 1969 season was followed by 8 wins to start the 1970 campaign. The Loyola men had a 40-match winning streak from 2014-2015, while UCLA is believed to hold the all-time record with 47 straight games.

The plot-line gets juicy next week, as the Buckeyes’ next opponent is Ball State: the last team to defeat them, almost a year ago. Ball State is also the team that ended the streak in 1970.

Streak facts:

  • The Buckeyes’ last NCAA loss was on February 6th, 2016 to Ball State, who are the Buckeyes’ next opponent on Thursday, February 2nd. Ball State won that game 3-2. Ball State was also the team that ended the 1969-1970 streak.
  • Ohio State has won 96 of 115 sets in the streak, which is 83% of sets played.
  • The streak includes 6 wins over top-5 opponents, including Saturday’s win over Long Beach State. 15 of the 32 teams have been ranked in the top-12 nationally.
  • The Buckeyes have won 14-straight ‘true’ road games (as compared to neutral site games)

Also in Saturday’s game, two Buckeyes broke individual career records. First, senior Miles Johnson broke the school’s career record for aces (he had just 1 in the game), while junior Nicolas Szerszen had 3 to tie him at 124. They both surpassed Steve Potter, who had 123 from 1992-1995, for the school record. The two also led the team in kills with 22 for Johnson and 16 for Szerszen.

Long Beach State was led by 19 kills from TJ DeFalco on .382 hitting, and offensively they fared well with a .290 hitting percentage. They also out-blocked (8-6) and out-dug (78-69) Ohio State, but 6 block errors and 19 at the service line did the 49ers in.

Video Highlights

Press Releases

Courtesy Ohio State Athletics:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 1 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (9-0) continued to ride a 32-match winning streak, topping No. 4 Long Beach State (7-2) in four sets. The Buckeye run ties an all-time school record of 32 consecutive victories previously accomplished back in 1969-70 (a 24-0 1969 season followed by eight wins to start the ’70 campaign).

• Ohio State is riding a 32-match winning streak, tying the school record previously set in 1969-70
• The Buckeyes last suffered an NCAA loss on February 6, 2016
• Ohio State has won 96 of 115 sets (83%) during the victorious stretch
• The streak includes six wins over Top-5 opponents and nearly half (15) against teams ranked inside the Top-12 nationally
• Also included in the run are 14 straight wins in true road games
• Loyola owns 40-match run in 2014-15 while UCLA is believed to own the all-time record of 47 straight

The team winning streak was not the only record broken Saturday night inside St. John Arena, however. The first came at 7:33 p.m. ET when Miles Johnson’s 124th career service ace gave him the school record. Teammate, Nicolas Szerszen, quickly matched him 37 minutes later (8:10) to pull even with Johnson atop the all-time OSU ace rankings. Both Buckeyes surpassed previous record holder, Steve Potter (1992-95), to reach the top.

Johnson and Szerszen provided a large portion of the Buckeye offense, combining for 38 kills and each swinging over .300. Johnson terminated 22 balls at a .395 attacking clip while Szerszen chipped in 16 kills on a .312 hitting percentage. Maxime Hervoir contributed from the pins as well, knocking home eight kills. Christy Blough returned to his starting position after taking Friday night off, averaging more than a dozen assists per set in steering the OSU offense to the tune of a .342 team hitting percentage.

Defensively, Gabriel Domecus led the way digging 14 balls. The Buckeye libero has posted 45 digs in the last 13 sets spanning four Ohio State victories in the past two weeks.

Set 1: Johnson wasted no time making his mark on the historic victory, delivering his first of eight of kills in the opening set on rally number one. His third kill ended the 12th point of the night, putting an end to a wild rally which lasted an entire 60 seconds.

Ohio State built a 13-6 upper hand before The Beach ripped off four in a row to slice the deficit down to 13-10. That three-point margin held steady in a final ledger of 25-22 in favor of the Scarlet & Gray.

Set 2: Johnson’s record-breaking 124th career ace lifted Ohio State on top, 6-4, through 10 points of set number two. Leads were short-lived for both squads in the second stanza, however, resulting in 13 tied scores and a half dozen lead changes. The final stalemate came unhitched on back-to-back points for Long Beach State at 24-24, a 26-24 LBSU triumph to even the score one set apiece at intermission.

Set 3: Consecutive aces from Szerszen not only gave Ohio State a 6-3 advantage but also ended Johnson’s 37-minute grip of sole possession of the OSU aces record. Both Buckeyes also posted five kills in the third frame as Ohio State seized a 25-21 winner.

Set 4: Déjà vu struck in the fourth, another 26-24 score witnessing 13 tied scores. It was Ohio State coming out on top this time though, closing out the Top-5 victory. Johnson crushed eight more kills attacking .636 while Hervoir served as a superb sidekick with five kills on eight error-free attempts (.625). The Buckeyes climbed out of a 19-15 hole late in the set, capping the night by going on an 11-5 spurt.

The 32-match winning streak in 1969-70 was snapped by Ball State. Ironically, Ohio State’s next opponent in 2017 in the Cardinals of Ball State on Thursday, Feb. 2, in Muncie, Ind.

Courtesy Long Beach State Athletics:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 4 Long Beach State dropped a four-set decision to top-ranked Ohio State by set scores of 22-25, 26-24, 21-25, 24-26 on Saturday night inside St. John’s Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Despite out-blocking the Buckeyes, the Beach were unable to overcome 19 service errors as they dropped just their second match of the year.

With the loss, the Beach fall to 7-2 overall, while the Buckeyes remain undefeated with a record of 9-0.

Long Beach State hit .290 (48-17-107) in the contest as it was led by sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco and sophomore opposite Kyle Ensing. DeFalco posted 19 kills on 34 attempts with six errors for a .382 attack percentage, while Ensing added 13 kills on 39 attempts with four miscues for a .231 clip. Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga dished out 38 assists, while Ensing led from the service line with three aces.

Defensively, the Beach put up 8.0 total team blocks to the Buckeyes’ 6.0 and were led by senior middle blocker Amir Lugo-Rodriguez who finished the night with four blocks (one solo and three assists). Senior libero Andrew Sato, along with Ensing, led the team with seven digs each.

The Beach kept the match close as they never lost by more than four points in a set. They also forced the Buckeyes into 20 attack errors and took advantage of 16 Ohio State service miscues as well as half a dozen reception errors in the four-set contest.

Ohio State controlled the first set as it took an early 6-2 lead and never looked back. Long Beach State managed to tie the game in the first few points, but was never able to capture a lead as the Buckeyes limited the Beach to just .067 (10-8-30) hitting in the frame. However, the 49ers refused to quit as they stayed on the Buckeyes’ heels before dropping the set, 25-22.

LBSU came out strong in the second set as it knocked down 13 kills and committed just four errors to out-hit Ohio State .375 to .321. The game was close throughout as the two teams exchanged leads six times and saw the score knotted on 13 occasions.

The 49ers broke a 23-23 tie on a Buckeyes’ service error which gave Long Beach State the set point. But an LBSU service error evened the score at 24-all. Ensing knocked down a kill to send it back to set point and DeFalco finished it off with an ace as the Beach collected a 26-24 win over the Buckeyes.

The third set was hard-fought as well. Ohio State started things off with a 6-3 advantage and led the rest of the way. However, just as they did in the first set, the Beach never let up. The 49ers saw the Buckeyes lead by as many as seven points, but continued to chip away until they made it a four-point game (22-18) forcing Ohio State to take a timeout to regroup. Following the break in action, the Beach made it a three-point contest (23-20), but the Buckeyes were able to close it out and take the third set by a score of 25-21.

Long Beach State battled in the fourth set as the Beach hit .400 in the frame with 13 kills on 25 attempts and just three errors. However, the Buckeyes refused to back down and turned in a 19-kill performance en route to hitting .516 (19-3-31) in the frame.

Like the second set, the fourth saw 13 ties with the final coming at 24-24 as DeFalco knocked down his 19th kill of the match. Ohio State broke the final tie and notched a pair of kills to put the game and match away as the Buckeyes earned the 26-24 victory.

Ohio State got a 20-kill performance from Miles Johnson who posted 22 kills on .395 (22-7-38) hitting to go along with three digs, two blocks and one ace. Nicolas Szerszen added 16 kills, eight digs, three assists, three aces and one block in the match, while Gabriel Domecus collected 14 digs, while Christy Blough tallied 49 assists.

Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid on Thursday, Feb. 2 when it hosts No. 9 Pepperdine at 7 p.m.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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