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Ohio State men’s volleyball looking to ‘control the pace’ against Ball State

February 25, 2014

chrysochoos.2@osu.edu
Junior middle blocker Dustan Neary (18) and freshman outside hitter Miles Johnson (13) attempt to block the ball during a match against Grand Canyon Feb. 21 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-0. Credit: Jonathan McAllister / Lantern photographer

Junior middle blocker Dustan Neary (18) and freshman outside hitter Miles Johnson (13) attempt to block the ball during a match against Grand Canyon Feb. 21 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-0.
Credit: Jonathan McAllister / Lantern photographer

After back-to-back wins, the Ohio State men’s volleyball team could be hitting its stride.

The No. 13 Buckeyes (7-6, 4-2) easily dispatched the Grand Canyon Antelopes in two matches over the weekend, sweeping them 3-0 on consecutive nights.

After four consecutive matches on their home court, the Buckeyes are set to finish off their five-match home stand Wednesday, hosting No. 14 Ball State (7-5, 3-2) at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena.

OSU junior outside hitter Michael Henchy said he and his teammates are looking to take what worked against the Antelopes and apply it to the match against the Cardinals.

“We need to control the pace of the match and win or lose points on our terms. If we can dictate the way the game is played, we have a much stronger chance to win,” Henchy said.

The Buckeyes beat the Cardinals once last season, a 3-1 result in Columbus. But when OSU traveled to Muncie, Ind., it was the Cardinals who dominated, winning 3-0 in a match that ended a three-game winning streak for the Buckeyes.

“Last time we played them (Ball State) we were swept in their gym,” Henchy said. “We played flat and lost the game on our own side of the net.”

Freshman setter Christy Blough, who tallied 77 assists in the two wins against the Antelopes, said nothing is going to come easy against Ball State because of its physicality.

“Ball State is not going to give us many points off of their errors,” Blough said. “So I think the most important thing we have to do to win this match is to limit our errors attacking and from the service line.”

The Buckeyes are expecting the Cardinals to come out hungry against them after dropping two matches last week to a pair of top 10 opponents in No. 1 Loyola and then-No. 10 Lewis. Henchy said Ball State plays a “scrappy” game, and is likely to look to take advantage if OSU’s offense is weak.

“We are practicing being aggressive and bringing more pace in our attacks,” Henchy said. “We have also done more work in transition to improve our efficiency.”


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