COLUMBUS, Ohio – After dropping the first set, the No. 8 Ohio State battled back to take the final three sets and defeat Carthage, 3-1 (18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-16) on Sunday afternoon.
Ohio State (11-4) was led by Shawn Sangrey and Mik Berzins. Sangrey totaled a match-high 20 kills and match-best four service aces, while Berzins finished with seven digs and 10 kills. Kyle Lawrence had 30 assists, while Nick Gibson added eight kills and five digs.
Randy Hansen led Carthage (8-2) with 16 kills and had five digs, while setter Connor Wexter had a match-high 36 assists. Tyler Frings tallied six blocks (1 solo, 5 assisted) and Jon Storm totaled 10 digs.
Back-to-back kills by Anthony Hock locked set one at three apiece, but Carthage pushed a 4-1 run for a 7-4 advantage. The Red Men held on to their lead throughout the set and at 14-12, the visitors utilized a three-point rally for a 17-12 lead. Another major Carthage run gave it a 25-18 win.
The Red Men opened the second set on a 4-0 run, but the Buckeyes responded with a pair of three-point runs to take a 6-5 lead. Tied at 10, Carthage used a rally for a 13-10 lead, but a kill by Grayson Overman triggered a Buckeye run to tie the score at 13-13. A kill by Gibson sent Ohio State on an 8-1 run for a 22-17 lead and a block by Overman/Lawrence solidified the 25-21 win.
The two squads exchanged a pair of three-point rallies for a 3-3 score at the start of set three. Down two at 9-7, Ohio State utilized two Carthage attack errors and two kills by Sangrey for an 11-9 lead. Another kill by Sangrey and one by Gibson gave the Buckeyes a 16-14 advantage and kills by John Tholen and Sangrey and a service ace by Sangrey led to a 21-15 lead. Ohio State went on to take the set 25-18.
A kill by Gibson locked set four at 4-4 and a Sangrey ace and a pair of Carthage errors put the Buckeyes up at 6-4. Another Buckeye run gave Ohio State a 10-5 advantage and the home squad pushed another big run for a 16-8 lead. A kill by Sangrey and a Berzins ace put the Buckeyes at set point 24-16, and a Carthage error gave Ohio State the match.