COLUMBUS, Ohio – Seventh-ranked Ohio State (18-4 overall, 11-0 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, 1st place) earned a fifth consecutive MIVA regular season championship with a 3-1 (25-20, 25-27, 25-22, 25-20) victory at 11th-ranked Loyola-Chicago (17-6, 7-2, 2nd) Friday night in Alumni Gym. OSU’s John Klanac recorded a match-high 21.5 points with 19 kills (.325), one solo block and three assist blocks. Shawn Sangrey added 14 points for the Buckeyes with 10 kills (.067), two ace serve and four assist blocks. Rambler Mike Bunting posted a team-high 15.5 points with 13 kills (.088), one solo block and three assist blocks. Eric Daliege added 10.5 points with nine kills (.438) and three assist blocks.
Set one saw Ohio State take a 4-0 lead with a Kevin Heine-Sangrey block and three consecutive ace serves from Steven Kehoe. A Bunting block and a Joseph Smalzer kill made it 4-2. Two Rambler errors, a Heine kill and a Jason Tobkin ace serve opened an 8-2 OSU lead. A 7-2 Loyola-Chicago run cut the Buckeye lead to one at 10-9 with a Mike Hutz-Daliege block. A Sangrey kill and two from Klanac made it 13-9 Buckeyes. At 22-19, a Rambler error made it 23-19. A Dainis Berzins kill cut the lead to three at 23-20. A Rambler service error gave Ohio State set point at 24-20. Another Loyola-Chicago error ended the set, 25-20, to give Ohio State a 1-0 lead in the match. In the set, the Ramblers hit .185 to .129 for the Buckeyes.
Tied at one in set two, a Heine-Klanac block and two Klanac kills gave OSU a 4-1 lead. Two Buckeye errors and a Smalzer ace serve tied the set at four. The set remained close and at 19-all, a Tobkin kill and a Rambler error gave Ohio State a 21-19 lead. Kills from Bunting and Heine moved the score to 22-20, OSU. Kills from Hutz and Bunting tied the set at 22. A Rambler error and a kill from Daliege made it 23-all. A Loyola-Chicago error gave Ohio State set point at 24-23. Bunting, with a kill stopped the point at 24-all. OSU had a second set point off a Klanac kill at 25-24. The Ramblers stopped the set point with a Smalzer kill at 25-all. An ace serve from Hutz gave Loyola-Chicago set point at 26-25. The Ramblers won the set, 27-25, off an OSU error to tie the match at one set each. In the set, Ohio State hit .333 to .207 for the Ramblers.
A kill from Bunting, a Smalzer ace serve and an OSU error gave Loyola-Chicago a 3-0 lead in set three. Leading, 8-5, an OSU error and an ace serve from Dainis Berzins gave the Ramblers a 10-5 lead. At 11-6, two Rambler errors and a Kehoe ace serve cut the lead to two at 11-9.At 12-10, kills from Heine and Klanac tied the set at 12. The OSU run continued with a solo block and kill from Klanac to give the Buckeyes a 14-12 lead. At 15-13, a kill from Hutz and a Hutz-Steve Thompson block tied the set at 15. Tied at 20, a Klanac kill made it 21-20 OSU. A Daliege kill tied the set at 21. A Rambler error and a kill from Bunting made it 22-all. A Loyola-Chicago error gave OSU a 23-22 lead. The Buckeyes reached set point at 24-22 with a Sangrey ace serve. Ohio State won the set, 25-22, off a Rambler error to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .400 for the set to .103 for Loyola-Chicago.
Ohio State opened set four with a 1-0 lead off a Rambler error. A Thompson kill tied the set at one. At three-all, two Buckeye errors gave the Ramblers a 5-3 lead. Two Loyola-Chicago errors tied the set at five. The Ramblers took a 6-5 lead off a Dainis Berzins kill. OSU tied the set at six with a Klanac kill. A Kehoe-Heine block made it 7-6 OSU. A Daliege kill tied the set at seven. A Kehoe-Heine block and a Tobkin kill gave Ohio State a 9-7 lead. Errors by both teams made it 10-8. A Klanac kill, a Heine-Sangrey block and an ace serve from Tobkin opened a 13-8 Buckeye lead. A Dainis Berzins kill and two ace serves from Smalzer cut the Buckeye lead to two at 13-11. At 14-12, a Rambler error, a Sangrey ace serve and a kill from Klanac gave Ohio State a 17-12 lead. At 19-14, a Rambler error and a Kehoe-Heine block gave Ohio State a 21-14 lead. An OSU error and a Hutz-Thompson block cut the margin to five at 21-16. A Rambler error and a Kehoe ace serve made it 23-16. Loyola-Chicago cut the margin to four at 23-19 with a kill from Bunting, a Bunting-Thompson block and a Brendan Styler kill. A Rambler error made it 24-19 to give Ohio State match point. A Thompson kill stopped the match point at 24-20. The Buckeyes, with a Klanac kill, won the set, 25-20, to win the match, 3-1. OSU hit .136 for the set to .094 for the Ramblers.
In the match, Ohio State hit .243 to .145 for Loyola-Chicago. The Ramblers had a 45-44 edge in kills while the Buckeyes had a 42-41 margin in assist. OSU’s Kehoe posted a match-high 38 assists while Hutz had 34 for the Ramblers. The Buckeyes had a 9-7 advantage in ace serves with OSU’s Kehoe posting a match-high five. The Ramblers gave up 18 service errors to 16 for OSU. Defensively, the Buckeyes had a 33-30 margin in digs. OSU’s Mik Berzins recorded a match-high nine. At the net, Ohio State had a 13.5 to nine margin in team blocks. OSU’s Heine recorded a match-high 10 assist blocks in the match.