No. 7 Ohio State edged No. 17 Penn State on the road in five sets with help from 10 aces, while North Greenville notched a 3-2 road win over Queens (NC) as the Royals collapsed offensively.
Barton and Mount Olive picked up Conference Carolinas victories, while Lincoln Memorial swept Lees McRae in non-conference action.
#7 Ohio State def. #17 Penn State 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 23-25, 28-26, 15-12)
- Ohio State moves to 14-4; Penn State falls to 10-8
- University Park, Pennsylvania
- Box Score
- Ohio State Recap / Penn State Recap
Key Stats: Ohio State piled up 10 aces and outdid Penn State 69-42 in kills en route to its third-straight win. The Buckeyes outhit PSU .365 to .243 and outserved their foes 10-7 in the victory. For their part, the Nittany Lions outblocked OSU 11.5 to 8. Ohio State hit .250 or better in all five sets, including two .400-plus efforts. Penn State hit at a match-high .611 clip in Set 2, but hit .200 or lower in three sets, including a -.040 effort in Set 1.
Stat Leaders: Senior outsides Nick Szerszen and Maxime Hervoir turned in 20-plus kill efforts to pace the Buckeyes, with 22 and 21 respectively. Szerszen hit at a .600 clip (22-4-30) and served up three of the team’s 10 aces, while Hervoir posted four blocks and added two aces. Redshirt freshman opposite Jake Hanes (9) and redshirt senior middle Nick Laffin (8) rounded out the offense. Laffin hit at a match-high .800 clip (8-0-10) and chipped in four blocks and two aces.
Redshirt sophomore opposite Calvin Mende (15) and redshirt junior outside Matthew McLaren (14) led the way for the Nittany Lions, both hitting better than .350 for the match. Mende hit .424, while McLaren hit .357 two go with a team-high eight digs and two blocks. Redshirt senior outside Aiden Albrecht turned in five aces and five kills, but hit -.125 on the night (5-8-24). Redshirt senior middle Kevin Gear added a team-best seven blocks and two kills.
It Was Over When: Ohio State scored three of the first four points in Set 5, including an ace by Szerszen. An ace by Gear and a block by Luke Braswell and Jason Donorovich gave PSU a 4-3 edge. The teams tied seven times after that, last at 10-all, before the Buckeyes seized control with a Hanes putaway and two Nittany Lion miscues. Penn State was within one after two OSU errors, but Hervoir and Laffin came through with kills for to secure the 15-12 win and the match.
North Greenville def. Queens 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 26-24, 23-25, 15-9)
- North Greenville moves to 10-11; Queens falls to 4-16
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Box Score
- North Greenville Recap / Queens Recap
Key Stats: Queens committed 41 hitting errors, managing to hit at just a .052 clip for the match in a five-set loss. North Greenville hit .135 as a team and outhit the Royals .200 to -.105 in the final stanza. The Crusaders outblocked Queens 13-9 in the match, while the Royals edged NGU 49-48 in kills. Both teams served up five aces.
Stat Leaders: Junior opposite Aaron Campbell was tops among the Crusaders with 16 kills and 11 digs, while also added four blocks. Junior outside Kyle Brandt (9), sophomore middle Ben Hamsho (7) and senior middle Matthew McManaway (7) followed offensively. McManaway put up a match-high 11 blocks and a team-best three aces, while Hamsho hit at a team-high .250 clip. Junior outside Grayson Lawrence posted a 42-assist, 12 dig effort, while sophomore outside Jackson Gilbert added 10 digs and four blocks.
Freshman outside Nic Cavallaro notched a 16-kill, 15-dig double-double and two aces to lead Queens. Junior opposite Marco Vecellio added nine kills and nine blocks, while freshman outside Tristan Santoyo followed with eight kills and 13 digs. Freshman middle Aleksandar Perisic put up seven blocks and added four kills.
It Was Over When: It was a 4-3 game in favor of NGU early in Set 5, before the Crusaders put things out of reach with an 8-1 run. Five Queens miscues and a solo block by Brandt highlighted the rally, which forced the Royals to use both of their timeouts. Kills by Brandt and McManaway gave North Greenville a match-point try at 14-6, but Queens would not go quietly, scoring three straight to extend the match. A McManaway putaway finally sealed the 15-9 win.
Barton (RV) def. Erskine 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 31-29)
- Barton 13-6, 10-0 Conference Carolinas; Erskine 4-12, 1-8 Conference Carolinas
- Due West, South Carolina
- Box Score
- Barton Recap / Erskine Recap
Key Stats: All six Barton hitters hit .220 or better and the team hit at a .270 clip in the sweep, while limiting Erskine to a .055 effort. The Flying Fleet won the block (8-1) and the serve (6-1), but couldn’t overcome a 45-29 deficit in kills or eight more hitting miscues (23-15). Barton hit .233 or better in all three sets, while Erskine reached .100 just once, with a .114 effort in Set 3.
Stat Leaders: Sophomore right side Angelos Mandilaris and junior outside Aleksa Brkovic accounted for 25 of Barton’s 45 kills, turning in 13 and 12 respectively. Junior outside Vasilis Mandilaris provided eight kills, while hitting .300 and chipping in a team-best 12 digs. Angelos Mandilaris added nine digs. Junior middle Justice Lord notched four kills, the team’s lone ace and one of two block assists.
Freshman outside Kevin Braceros downed 10 kills, while Junior middle Keegan Sullivan (6) and freshman outside Daniel Hermida (5) followed. Sullivan hit at a .500 clip (6-1-10) and accounted for two aces and three blocks. Sophomore outside Gary Aromin also added two aces, while freshman middle JP Payne and freshman setter Matt Friddle added three stuffs apiece.
It Was Over When: Barton jumped out to a 7-2 lead in Set 3 and held the Flying Fleet at bay until late. Brkovic turned in two kills early and Erskine made three errors. Two Angelos Mandilaris kills and three from Brkovic pushed the Bulldog lead to six at 16-10. Erskine scored six of the next eight, including a kill and an ace by Matt Friddle, to narrow the gap to two at 18-16. Down 23-19, the Flying Fleet made another run, scoring five in a row , including a kill and a block by Sullivan, to earn the first set-point try at 24-23. After thwarting a Barton attempt at 25-23, Erskine had three more shots to win, the last at 28-27. The Bulldogs ended the match on a 4-1 run bookended by Brkovic putaways.
Mount Olive def. Emmanuel 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-16)
- Mount Olive moves to 12-9, 8-2 Conference Carolinas; Emmanuel falls to 8-11, 4-6 Conference Carolinas
- Franklin Springs, Georgia
- Box Score
- Mount Olive Recap / Emmanuel Recap
Key Stats: Mount Olive served up 12 aces and outblocked Emmanuel 9-5.5 in a four-set conference win. The Trojans also outhit the Lions .271 to .261. Emmanuel bested UMO 50-45 in kills. Mount Olive wrapped up the match with their two best hitting efforts at .278 and .406. Emmanuel dropped Set 3 despite hitting .364, but struggled to find its footing, hitting just .120 in the final stanza.
Stat Leaders: Senior opposite Bret Rutledge and senior opposite Robert Poole carried the offensive load for Mount Olive with 14 and 11 kills respectively, while also serving up five aces apiece. Freshman middle Luke Visgitis (7), junior outside Brad Monaghan (7) and freshman middle Jerrell Rogers (6) also aided the offense. Visgitis and Rogers each hit at a team-high .385 clip. Rogers also put up a team-best five blocks, while Visgitis and Monaghan turned in three stuffs apiece.
Three Emmanuel players posted double-digit kill tallies, led by sophomore outside Aleksa Lakic‘s 15. Sophomore middle Don Thompson (11) and senior middle Ackeem West (10) were right behind. Thompson hit at a team-high .688 clip with 16 errorless swings (11-0-16), while West notched a team-leading three blocks. Sophomore outside Alejandro Zayas tallied 10 digs, four kills, three aces and two blocks, but hit -.133 for the match.
It Was Over When: Mount Olive quickly built a 13-5 advantage in the match as Poole notched three kills and Rutledge added two kills and two aces. The Trojan lead never fell below six the rest of the way (16-10). From there, Visgitis and Rogers put down two kills apiece to lift and Rutledge chipped in a kill and an ace to lift UMO to a 24-15 lead. A Lakic kill kept the match going momentarily, before a bad set ended the night.
Lincoln Memorial def. Lees McRae 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-15)
- Lincoln Memorial moves to 9-9; Lees McRae falls to 2-14
- Harrogate, Tennessee
- Box Score
- Lees McRae Recap / Lincoln Memorial Recap
Key Stats: Eight aces kept Lees McRae off balance, while 10 blocks helped Lincoln hold the Bobcats to a .152 hitting effort. The Railsplitters posted a .338 efficiency of their own in the sweep, while also leading 34-29 in kills. Lincoln Memorial also bookended the match with .400 or better hitting efforts. Lees McRae hit .286 in the opening set, but failed to reach .100 in the final two stanzas.
Stat Leaders: A balanced offensive attack by sophomore opposite Evan Cory (11), senior outside Joshua Riblett (9) and sophomore middle Pedro Carvalho (8) guided the Railsplitters to victory. Carvalho hit at an errorless .667 clip (8-0-12) and added a team-best six blocks and two aces. Cory posted a .474 hitting effort, three blocks and an ace. Freshman setter AJ Risavy notched four stuffs and an ace. Seven different players tallied an ace for the Lincoln Memorial.
Freshmen outsides Spencer Graf (8) and Robert Bowling (8) and sophomore opposite Wes Rogman (7) led the Bobcat offense. Rogman served up the team’s two aces, while also added two blocks. Junior middle Hector Serviat added four kills and a team-best three blocks, while hitting at a team-leading .250 clip.
It Was Over When: Three Lees McRae miscues helped Lincoln to an early 5-1 lead. The Bobcats were within one at 5-4, but soon faced a 10-6 deficit after a kill, a block and an ace by Carvalho. Up just two at 11-9, the Railsplitters broke away with eight of the next 10 points. Risavy and Lucas Kerley served up aces and four different players turned in kills in the rally, which put Lincoln up 19-11. A 4-0 run, including another Carvalho ace and two Bobcat miscues, made it 24-13 Railsplitters. An Ethan Gardner kill and Lincoln hitting error kept Lees McRae alive in the set. Riblett put down his final kill to seal the 25-15 win.