COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fifth-ranked Ohio State took sole possession of first place in the MIVA with a 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 21-25, 25-21) victory against 12th-ranked Loyola-Chicago (12-4, 5-1) Saturday night in St. John Arena.
Kevin Heine posted a team-high 18 points with a season-high 16 kills (.591) and four assist blocks for the Buckeyes. Shawn Sangrey added 16.5 points with 13 kills (.290), two ace serves, a solo block and one assist block.
Leading Loyola-Chicago in points was Joseph Smalzer with a match-high 19 on 16 kills (.353), one ace serve and four assist blocks. Mike Bunting added 17.5 points with 15 kills (.273), one ace serve and three assist blocks for the Ramblers.
The Ramblers held a 6-5 lead in set one before a Steven Kehoe-Grayson Overman block tied the set at six. A Rambler error, a Jason Tobkin kill, a Kehoe-Heine-Tobkin block and an Overman ace serve opened a 10-6 Buckeye lead. At 14-10, a Smalzer kill cut the OSU lead to three. A John Klanac kill, a Sangrey ace serve and a Rambler error gave Ohio State a 17-11 lead. A Bunting kill and a Bunting-Eric Daliege block made it 17-13. A Rambler error and a kill from Tobkin made it 19-13. A Daliege kill and a Daliege-Mike Hutz block cut the lead to four at 19-15. OSU made the lead, 21-15, with kills from Overman and Heine. At 22-16, kills from Heine and Hutz made it 23-17. A Rambler error gave OSU set point at 24-17. Bunting, with a kill stopped the set point at 24-18. Ohio State won the set, 25-18, with a Heine-Klanac block to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .429 for the set to .208 for Loyola-Chicago.
Tied at four in set two, kills from Klanac and Overman and an ace serve from Sangrey gave Ohio State a 7-4 lead. The Ramblers responded with a Dainis Berzins kill and a Smalzer-Steve Thompson-Bunting block to make it 7-6. The Buckeyes, with kills from Kehoe and Tobkin, a Kehoe-Overman block, a Klanac ace serve and a Rambler error took a 12-6 lead. Trailing, 14-8, a Bunting kill and an OSU error cut the margin to four at 14-10. At 15-11, kills from Sangrey and Heine made it 17-11. At 20-14, a Buckeye error cut the margin to five at 20-15. A Sangrey kill, a Rambler error, a Heine-Tobkin block and a Sean Martin ace serve gave Ohio State set point at 24-16. A Daliege kill and a Smalzer ace serve stopped two set points to cut the margin to 24-17. The Buckeyes won the set, 25-17, off a Rambler error to take a 2-0 lead in the match. For the set, Ohio State hit .333 to .000 for Loyola-Chicago.
Loyola-Chicago trailed 4-3 in the third set when a Smalzer kill and a Daliege-Smalzer block gave the Ramblers a 5-4 lead. Errors by both teams and a Kehoe kill tied the set at six. The Ramblers took a 9-6 lead with a Smalzer kill, an OSU error and a Bunting ace serve. A 4-2 run by the Ramblers made it 13-8. At 15-10, kills from Sangrey and Overman made it 15-12.
At 16-13, two kills from Smalzer made the lead five at 18-13. Trailing, 19-14, a kill from Sangrey and a Rambler error made it 19-16. A Thompson kill and a Dainis Berzins solo block made the lead five at 21-16. Two Heine kills and a Tobkin ace serve cut the Rambler lead to two at 21-19. Bunting, with two kills made it 23-19. A Heine kill made it 23-20. Loyola-Chicago reached set point at 24-20 with a kill from Smalzer. An Overman-Sangrey block stopped the point at 24-21. The Ramblers, with a Daliege kill, won the set, 25-21, and now trailed, 2-1, in the match. Loyola-Chicago hit .444 for the set to .333 for Ohio State.
Trailing, 2-1, in set four, Loyola-Chicago scored five unanswered points to take a 6-2 lead. The run included two kills from Smalzer and Bunting and one from Daliege. Kills from Overman and Bunting made it 7-3. Five consecutive Buckeye points gave OSU an 8-7 lead. The run included kills from Kehoe and Overman, a Kehoe-Overman-Mik Berzins block, a Tobkin ace serve and a Rambler error. Loyola-Chicago tied the set at eight with a Daliege kill. At nine-all, a Mik Berzins kill and two Kehoe ace serves gave Ohio State a 12-9 lead. The Ramblers responded with a Dainis Berzins kill, a Thompson-Dainis Berzins block and an OSU error to tie the set at 12. Two Loyola-Chicago errors, a Sangrey kill and a Tobkin-Heine block opened a 16-12 Buckeye lead. Kills from Bunting and Tobkin made it 17-13. A Buckeye error and a kill from Bunting cut the OSU lead to 17-15. The squads exchanged points to reach 21-19. A Heine kill, a Mik Berzins ace serve and a Rambler error gave Ohio State match point at 24-19. Loyola-Chicago stopped two match points with a Smalzer kill and an OSU error to make it 24-21. The Buckeyes, with a kill from Heine, won the set 25-21, to win the match, 3-1. In the set, Loyola-Chicago hit .314 to .256 for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes hit .324 for the match to .252 for Loyola-Chicago. OSU had a 53-47 advantage in kills and a 49-46 edge in assists. Kehoe produced a match-high 43 assists to 34 for Rambler Hutz. Ohio State enjoyed an 11-2 margin in aces with Kehoe producing a match-high three. OSU gave up 13 service errors to 12 for the Ramblers. Defensively, Loyola-Chicago had a 34-32 margin in digs. OSU’s Mik Berzins posted a season/match-high 12 with Tommy Becker and Hutz sharing team-high honors with eight each for the Ramblers. At the net, Loyola-Chicago edged the Buckeyes, 10.5 to 10 in team blocks. Daliege had a match-high five assist blocks for the Ramblers while Kehoe, Heine and Overman shared team-high honors with four assist blocks each for the Buckeyes.