The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 1:56 pm

Ohio State brings on heat, scorches Mastodons

Aubree Reichel The Journal Gazette

The No. 12 Ohio State men’s volleyball team swept IPFW 3-0 on Friday at the Gates Center.

"Ohio State came out to play. They have some good players who can bring some heat from the service line, and I think you could just tell we weren’t ready for it," IPFW graduate assistant J.W. Kieckhefer said of the 25-18, 25-22, 25-12 loss.

"That’s the name of the game. Coach (Arnie Ball) and (assistant Ryan Perrotte) and everybody talks about serving and passing being the name of the game. You got to serve the ball and pass the ball, and they came to play from the baseline and we didn’t, and that’s just the end of it."

The Mastodons (9-4, 3-2 MIVA) hadn’t played since falling in straight sets to No. 1 Loyola-Chicago on Feb. 12. A matchup Feb. 14 at No. 2 Lewis was postponed because of weather, so they had to rely on practices.

"A game’s a game," IPFW’s Gabriel Quinones said of the delay between matches. "I think Loyola, if anything, should have helped us to bounce back, but I guess mentally we weren’t ready."

IPFW and Ohio State (11-2, 5-0) began each set evenly, but the Buckeyes were able to get momentum going into each set the Mastodons could not overcome.

In the first, a 7-0 run extended the score to 15-9. IPFW fought back with a 6-2 run to get within 24-18 before a service error from IPFW’s Andrew Sellan finished the set for Ohio State.

In the second, IPFW got out to a 3-1 lead before a 7-2 run from Ohio State switched the leads for good at 8-5. The Mastodons were unable to string together more than two consecutive points throughout the remainder of the set.

A 6-2 run accompanied with a separate 12-1 run put Ohio State ahead at 23-10 in the third and just upped the intensity to close out the match and the game.

"As coach always says, it’s always serving and passing; that’s what the game comes down to," Quinones said. "They stopped service, we didn’t pass, that’s what it came down to. That leaves us unable to run our offense, and it just went down from there."

Quinones and Sellan led the Mastodon offense with eight kills each. Omar Rivera had 26 assists, and Ramon Burgos eight digs.

For the Buckeyes, Nicolas Szerszen had 10 kills and 21 digs, Miles Johnson had 10 kills, and Christy Blough 34 assists.

"I think we lack a little bit of volleyball IQ and just knowing the game, understanding situations, going back and passing the ball," Kieckhefer said. "There’s not much else you can say. They served the ball well and passed the ball pretty well and we didn’t. You have to go back and try and work on those issues and try to get better. Tomorrow’s a new day. It’s a long season."

Ball was unavailable for comment after the match

The Mastodons face McKendree (5-10, 0-7) at 7 p.m. at the Gates Center. It is the first meeting between the two teams.

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