UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — No. 3 seed Ohio State (25-6), for the third time in program history, has advanced to the NCAA Championship match with a 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-22, 25-23) victory against No. 2 seed and host Penn State (24-7). The Buckeyes advance to the championship match at 7 p.m. Saturday and will face No. 4 seed UC Santa Barbara (18-14), a 3-1 (29-27, 24-26, 25-15, 25-18) winner against top seeded USC (23-4). The contest will be played in Rec Hall on the campus of Penn State and will be carried live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
OSU’s John Klanac posted a team-high 18.5 points in the match with 16 kills (.333), one ace serve and three assist blocks. Shawn Sangrey added 18 points for the Buckeyes with 15 kills (.206) and six assist blocks. Penn State’s Joe Sunder recorded a match-high 19.5 points with 18 kills (.162) and three assist blocks. Nick Turko added 10 points with seven kills (.438), two solo and two assist blocks for the Nittany Lions.
In the first set, Ohio State opened with a Sangrey kill, two Grayson Overman-Klanac blocks and a Penn State error for a 4-0 lead. Leading, 8-4, an OSU error cut the lead to three. A Heine kill and a Heine-Sangrey block made the lead five at 10-5. Two OSU errors cut the lead to three at 10-7. Trailing, 15-12, a Sunder kill cut the OSU lead to two at 15-13. A kill from Klanac and three PSU errors forced a Nittany Lion time out at 19-13. The run continued with a Sangrey kill and a Jason Tobkin-Heine-Sangrey block to give Ohio State a 21-13 lead. An OSU error and an Alan Mars ace serve made it 21-15. Two Nittany Lion errors made it 23-15. A Jace Olsen kill made it 23-16. Ohio State reached set point at 24-16 off a Nittany Lion error. Penn State, with a Scott Kegerreis kill and an Olsen ace serve stopped two set points to cut the lead to 24-18. The Buckeyes, with a Klanac kill won the set, 25-18, to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .350 for the set to -.129 for Penn State.
Penn State opened set two with a Mars-Sunder block and an OSU error for a 2-0 lead. OSU trailed, 5-3, when a kill from Tobkin and a PSU error tied the set at five. Kills from Klanac and Tobkin gave OSU a 7-5 lead. At 8-6, a Turko kill and a Buckeye error tied the set at eight. After several ties, the score moved to 12-all. A Tom Comfort-Turko-Ryan Wolf block and a solo block from Turko gave Penn State a 14-12 lead. Buckeye kills from Klanac and Sangrey tied the set at 14. The score remained close until at 18-all, an Edgardo Goas-Ian Hendries-Sunder block and a Buckeye error gave Penn State a 20-18 lead. Kills from Klanac and Sunder made it 21-19. A PSU error and a kill by Hendries made it 22-20. An OSU error made it 23-20 Penn State. Ohio State, with kills from Sangrey and Tobkin and an Overman-Steven Kehoe block tied the set at 23. Penn State reached set point at 24-23 with a Turko kill. OSU tied the set at 24 off a Sangrey kill. A Buckeye error gave Penn State a second set point at 25-24. A second OSU error gave the Nittany Lions a 26-24 set win to tie the match at one set each. For the set, Penn State hit .259 to .118 for Ohio State.
Ohio State trailed 1-0 off an ace serve from Goas to open set three. The Buckeyes responded with four consecutive points starting with a Sangrey kill to tie the set at one. A Tokin kill gave OSU a 2-1 lead. The run continued with a Kehoe ace serve and a kill from Heine. Penn State, off an OSU error, a kill from Comfort and a Wolf-Mars block tied the set at four. At six-all, kills from Klanac and Sangrey made it 8-6, OSU. A Buckeye error made it 8-7. A Klanac kill and a PSU error gave Ohio State a 10-7 lead. Two OSU errors and a kill from Sunder tied the set at 10. Two Nittany Lion errors and a solo block from Kehoe gave Ohio State a 13-10 lead. OSU held a 15-12 lead and with a Sangrey kill expanded the lead to four at 16-12. Two Buckeye errors, a kill and solo block from Turko tied the set at 16. At 17-all, Penn State took an 18-17 lead with a kill from Goas. OSU tied the set at 18 with a Klanac kill. An Overman-Kehoe block and a Nittany Lion error gave Ohio State a 20-18 lead. Errors by both team made it 21-19 OSU. An ace serve from Klanac and a PSU error made it 23-20 Buckeyes. A Sunder kill cut the lead to 23-21. A Nittany Lion error gave Ohio State set point at 24-21. A Sunder kill stopped the set point at 24-22. Ohio State, with a Heine kill, won the set 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .333 for the set to .148 for Penn State.
With the fourth set tied at five, kills from Comfort and Olsen gave Penn State a 7-5 lead. Kills from Heine and Sunder made it 8-6. A Tobkin kill and an OSU error made it 9-7. A Penn State error and an Overman-Sangrey block tied the set at nine. At 11-all, kills from Klanac and Tobkin gave Ohio State a 13-11 lead. An OSU error and a kill from Olsen tied the set at 13. Ohio State took a 15-13 lead with an Overman kill and an Anthony Hock ace serve. At 18-16, a Klanac kill made the lead three at 19-16. Kills from Turko and Goas cut the margin to one at 19-18. A Sangrey kill made it 20-18, OSU. Two kills by Sunder tied the set at 20. A Comfort-Mars block gave Penn State a 21-20 lead. A Nittany Lion error tied the set at 21. Penn State took a 22-21 lead with a Sunder kill. OSU tied the set at 22 with a kill from Tobkin. A Heine-Kehoe block gave Ohio State a 23-22 lead. OSU reached match point at 24-22 off a Nittany Lion error. Penn State stopped the match point with an Olsen kill at 24-23. The Buckeyes won the set, 25-23, with a Sangrey kill to win the match, 3-1, and advance to the national championship match. OSU hit .406 for the set to .278 for Penn State.
For the match, Ohio State hit .292 to .140 for Penn State. The Buckeyes had a 55-44 advantage in kills and a 53-41 margin in assists. OSU’s Kehoe posted a match-high 51 assists with PSU’s Goas recording 39. Each squad posted three ace serves in the match while Ohio State gave up 19 service errors to 12 for Penn State. Defensively, the Buckeyes had a 36-30 advantage in digs. PSU’s Dennis Del Valle recorded a match-high 10 digs while OSU’s Mik Berzins posted a team-high nine. At the net, the Buckeyes had a 14.5 to 10 margin in team blocks. Overman had a match-high seven assist blocks for the Buckeyes with Sangrey adding six. For Penn State, Mars recorded four assist blocks while Turko had two solo and two assist blocks.