The No. 9-ranked Ohio State men’s volleyball team took home two wins this weekend after defeating California Baptist, 3-1, and Mount Olive, 3-0, in the Penn State Invitational, improving to 8-4 on the season.
Some OSU players saw more action than normal in Saturday’s match against the Mount Olive Trojans.
The team’s leading offensive players, senior opposite Shawn Sangrey, senior outside hitter Mik Berzins and junior outside hitter Chen Levitan, didn’t even enter the match.
Junior outside hitter Nick Gibson recorded a match-high 14 kills, while redshirt freshman setter Peter Heinen tallied 23 assists for the Buckeyes. Redshirt junior middle blocker John Tholen had six blocks.
This is the second time in two years that OSU has swept Mt. Olive, according to the athletic department’s team guide.
OSU rode Friday’s momentum into the first set, and at 17-15, went on an eight-point drive. Four Trojan errors and kills by reshirt freshman middle blocker Shawn Herron and Tholen added to the victory, 25-16.
Similarly, at 16-13 in the second set, the Buckeyes put up six straight points while holding the Trojans at 13. OSU took the set, 25-17.
The third set was close with 12 tied scores.
The Buckeyes maintained the lead for most of the set, but the score tied late in the match, 24-24, on an attack error by freshman outside hitter Michael Henchy.
Tholen’s kill put his team at match point, and an error in their favor ended the weekend of play for OSU, 26-24.
In Friday night’s performance, the Cal-Baptist Lancers came out strong and took the first set, 23-25.
OSU gave up a six-point lead in the second set and the score tied at 24. Berzins and Levitan, delivered kills to end the set, 27-25.
Levitan would seal the third set for OSU, 25-20, with two more kills and two Lancer errors.
At 16-14 in the fourth and final set, OSU went on a four-point drive with a Sangrey kill, two blocks from Herron and a Lancer error.
The Buckeyes ended the match on an attack by Levitan, who had 16 on the weekend.
Sangrey posted a match-high 23 kills and Heinen led the team in assists with 55.
The Buckeyes will travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., to take on the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Mastodons at 7 p.m. Friday. OSU returns home the following Friday to play Ball State at 7 p.m.
The OSU men’s volleyball team, which is 65-33 against IPFW, could not be immediately reached for comment.