- #5 Ohio State def. #13 Fort Wayne 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-16)
- Ohio State moves to 20-4, 11-2 MIVA; Fort Wayne falls to 17-10, 5-8 MIVA
- Fort Wayne, Indiana
- Box Score
Ohio State hit at a stellar .455 clip as a team, making just eight errors on the night, in a road sweep of Fort Wayne to claim its third straight MIVA title and the top seed in the league’s postseason tournament.
The Buckeyes also bested the Mastodons in kills (48-33), efficiency (.455 to .209) and blocks (4-2). Fort Wayne won the service battle 6-3 in aces.
Ohio State started the match with a near-perfect hitting effort at .600 and maintained a .286 or better effort the rest of the match. Fort Wayne hit .429 in the opener, but struggled as the night went on, managing just a .033 effort in Set 3.
Senior outside Maxime Hervoir was tops for OSU in kills with 16, while redshirt freshman opposite Jake Hanes (13) and senior outside Nicolas Szerszen (11) also posted double-digit efforts. Szerszen hit at a team-best .550 clip and added seven digs, while Hervoir hit at a .480 clip. Redshirt junior middle Blake Leeson chalked up four kills and a team-best three blocks and was one of three Buckeyes with an ace.
Redshirt junior outside Tony Price, sophomore outside Pelegrin Vargas and freshman middle Tomas Gago downed eight kills apiece for the Mastodons. Gago posted a team-best .462 hitting effort and two aces, while Vargas managed a team-high seven digs. Redshirt junior outside Colton Stone added three aces and a team-leading two blocks.
After a 10-all tie in Set 1, Ohio State scored nine of the next 13 points, including two kills each by Hervoir, Hanes and Leeson. A Nick Laffin putaway put the Buckeyes up six at 22-16. Hervoir added three kills down the stretch, including back-to-back efforts to close out the 25-18 win.
Set 2 was another back and forth battle in the early going, leading to a tie at 15. Fort Wayne led by as many as four at 9-5, including two kills and an ace by Gago, only to see the margin erased by two miscues and kills by Szerszen and Hanes. Ohio State went up 14-12, but the teams tied again at 14 and 15, before the Buckeyes grabbed the lead for good at 18-15. Szerszen, Hervoir and Laffin took turns hammering kills as OSU went ahead 22-18. Vargas had the Mastodons within two at 22-20 with back to back kills. Later, down 24-21, a Price kill and Stone ace kept Fort Wayne in the game. A Szerszen putaway secured the Ohio State win.
Another tie at 10 kicked off Set 3, but from there it was nearly all Buckeyes as OSU scored 15 of the final 21 to cap the sweep. Six Fort Wayne errors, two Leeson blocks and two kills each by Szerszen and Hervoir led the way for Ohio State. A Laffin putaway was the final blow in the 25-16 win and the match.
Courtesy: Ohio State Athletics
The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (20-4, 11-2 MIVA) captured its 26th Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season championship by sweeping past the 15th-ranked Mastodons of Fort Wayne (17-10, 5-8 MIVA) in straight sets (25-18, 25-23, 25-16). The No. 7 Buckeyes also clinched the conference tournament’s top seed and will face No. 12 Ball State Saturday evening with an outright title on the line.
Ohio State extended its winning streak to nine matches overall and has stretched the MIVA title winning sprint to three seasons in a row.
The Buckeyes attacked .455 as a team behind the three-headed monster of Jake Hanes, Maxime Hervoir and Nicolas Szerszen at the pins and from the back row. Nick Laffin and Blake Leeson combined for eight kills on 17 error-free attempts in the middle.
Sanil Thomas divvied up 40 assists while pacing the squad with eight digs.
Courtesy: Fort Wayne Athletics
Despite six aces on Friday night (April 6), No. 15 Fort Wayne fell to No. 7 Ohio State 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-16) on Arnie Ball Court.
Three of Fort Wayne’s aces came from Colton Stone, and Tomas Gago got two. Five of the team’s aces came in the second set. The Mastodons were led by three different attackers who totaled eight kills each. Tony Price, Pelegrin Vargas and Gago were those primary point-scorers, led by Gago, who hit .462.
The first set was open to both teams until Ohio State rattled off four straight to lead 19-14. In the second, Fort Wayne led 9-5, but Ohio State answered by a 6-1 run to take a lead. The rest of the frame was back-and-forth runs, but the Buckeyes halted the late run by the ‘Dons. OSU broke the third set open with four straight to lead 14-10, and the ‘Dons could not recover. Five straight from the Buckeyes later put them up 10.
OSU hit .455 for the match, led by reigning national MVP Nicolas Szerszen, who hit .550. The Buckeyes hit .600 in the first set to overcome Fort Wayne’s .429. Defensively, the duties were split for the ‘Dons, as Vargas, Price and Michael Keegan had seven, six and five digs respectively.
Next up for the Mastodons is McKendree on Saturday (April 7), which is coming off a three-set loss at Ball State. The two teams will be fighting for the fifth seed in the MIVA Tournament, as whichever team comes away with the win will finish in that spot. The ‘Dons will either play Ball State or Lewis in the opening round, depending on results of tomorrow’s matches across the conference. Saturday’s match against the Bearcats will serve as senior night, in which Fort Wayne will thank the lone senior Jack Carlson for his dedication to the program.
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