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Men’s volleyball: Ohio State breaks record against Ball State with 33rd straight victory

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The Ohio State men’s volleyball team defeat UCLA in 3 sets to 1. St. John Arena, January 7, 2017. Credit: Courtesy of OSU Athletics

The No. 1 Ohio State men’s volleyball team broke the 47-year-old school record for consecutive victories on Thursday night with its 33rd straight win against the same team that handed OSU its last loss on Feb. 6, 2016.

The Buckeyes (10-0) defeated No. 12 Ball State in straight sets 29-27, 25-19, 25-22 to snap the streak set in 1969-70. Senior opposite hitter Miles Johnson and junior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen led OSU’s attack, combining for 32 of the team’s 47 kills.

OSU’s .429 attack and nine service aces outmatched the Cardinals on route to the Scarlet and Gray’s first conference victory of 2017.

In the first and third set, OSU fell behind early, but managed to come back and take the set.

Ball State led 21-16 in the first set until Johnson took over and ignited a ferocious comeback. OSU had 11 kills on 13 swings to close the set on a 13-6 run.

After dominant defense held Ball State to a .130 attack in the second set, the Cardinals burst to 13-9 third-set lead. OSU won five of the next six points to tie the contest at 14. Once again tied at 19, OSU clinched the record-breaking victory with a 6-3 run.

It was the Buckeyes 16th victory against a top-12 team during the win streak.

Now with the school record, OSU turns to Loyola’s 40-match winning streak during the 2014-15 season, which is the longest recorded streak. UCLA is believed to have the all-time record of 47 consecutive victories.

OSU next plays at Fort Wayne on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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