MUNCIE, Ind. -- In its 50th season as a varsity sport, the Ohio State University men's volleyball team snapped a 47-year-old school record by defeating No. 12 Ball State (8-2, 0-1 MIVA) in the 2017 conference opener to represent the 33rd straight win overall for the top-ranked Buckeyes (10-0, 1-0 MIVA). Ohio State got past Ball State in straight sets: 29-27, 25-19, 25-22.
• Ohio State is riding a 33-match winning streak, breaking the school record previously set in 1969-7
• The Buckeyes last suffered an NCAA loss on February 6, 2016 (vs. Ball State)
• Ohio State has won 99 of 118 sets (84%) during the victorious stretch
• The streak includes six wins over Top-5 opponents and nearly half (16) against teams ranked inside the Top-12 nationally
• Also included in the run are 15 straight wins in true road games
• Loyola owns 40-match run in 2014-15 while UCLA is believed to own the all-time record of 47 straight
Ohio State overpowered the Cardinals by attacking .429 with 47 kills, complemented by nine kills from the Buckeye trio of Nicolas Szerszen (five aces), Blake Leeson (two aces) and Miles Johnson (two aces). Johnson and Szerszen combined for 32 of the 47 OSU kills, each attacking above the .500 line. Johnson bounced 19 kills at a .621 hitting rate and Szerszen attacked .526 on 13 kills. Maxime Hervoir tallied double-digit points as well, connecting for eight kills and four blocks (1s, 3a).
Set 1: Ball State built a five-point cushion at 15-10, 17-12 and 21-16 before OSU head coach Pete Hanson burned his second timeout of the first frame. The next four points went to Ohio State, igniting a 13-6 run fueled by Johnson's domination to eventually corral a 29-27 triumph. The Buckeye opposite hitter registered a whopping 11 kills on 13 errorless swings as Ohio State quieted a large Cardinal contingent in attendance. The come-from-behind victory ended with three straight OSU points deflecting a Ball State set-point opportunity at 27-26 and closing the door two points later, 29-27.
Set 2: Ohio State victimized the Cardinals for four aces in the second stanza, going ahead early and often. Three Buckeye blocks also proved pivotal as Ball State stumbled to a .130 team attacking efficiency. Ohio State doubled up the Cardinals as late as 22-11 in a smooth-sailing set number two which wrapped up 25-19.
Set 3: The Buckeyes once again crawled out of a hole in the third, similar to the first set. Trailing 13-9, Ohio State snagged five of the next six rallies to pull even at 14-14 and force a BSU timeout. The ledger remained steady at 19-19 before a 6-3 Buckeye run sealed the deal and finalized Ohio State's 33rd straight win.
Ohio State is back at it again Saturday night (Feb. 4), rolling over to Fort Wayne for a 7 p.m. match-up with the Mastodons.