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Ohio State men’s volleyball takes 2 against Grand Canyon

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Freshman outsider hitter Miles Johnson (13) attempts to spike the ball during a match against Grand Canyon Feb. 21 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-0. Credit: Jonathan McAllister / Lantern photographer

Freshman outsider hitter Miles Johnson (13) attempts to spike the ball during a match against Grand Canyon Feb. 21 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-0.
Credit: Jonathan McAllister / Lantern photographer

The Buckeyes were successful at their chance for revenge against the Grand Canyon Antelopes, finishing with a clean sweep.

The No. 14 Ohio State men’s volleyball team took down Grand Canyon 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-20) Saturday and 3-0 (25-18, 31-29, 25-23) Friday in Columbus.

The Buckeyes (7-6. 4-2) were preparing their offense all week prior to the match against the Antelopes (6-9, 0-6), said coach Pete Hanson. OSU put the offensive practice to work and averaging 45 kills during the two matches against Grand Canyon.

“If the offense is producing at a very high level, it can erase some of your bad spots that you are trying to cover up … If we can get our offense to play at a steady level, we are going to have the chance to be successful night in and night out,” Hanson said.

During Saturday’s match, redshirt-freshman middle blocker Driss Guessous had a match-high 11 kills for OSU and finished the match with a .474 attack percentage. Freshman outside hitter Miles Johnson added nine kills and two solo blocks, while junior middle blocker Dustan Neary and redshirt-junior opposite Andrew Lutz each totaled eight kills. Freshman setter Christy Blough had a match-best 37 assists and chipped in two solo blocks and two kills.

Senior middle blocker Jonathan Newton said winning the match came down to stopping the Antelopes early.

“We knew that to be able to control the game, we had to stop their (Grand Canyon) momentum from the beginning,” Newton said.

Lutz led the squad with 13 kills Friday, while Johnson added a career-best 11. Guessous and junior outside hitter Michael Henchy finished with nine and eight kills, respectively. Blough had a match-best 40 assists Friday night.

Henchy said Saturday the Buckeyes are on the cusp of reaching the level of play they have been striving to acheive.

“We are coming more and more into form and we’re not too far away from being a great team,” Henchy said.

OSU is set to close out its five-match home stand as it hosts No. 13 Ball State Wednesday. The No. 14 Buckeyes and the Cardinals are scheduled to face off at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena.

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