Ohio State 3, Charleston 0
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The NCAA's leader in assists per set a season ago, Sanil Thomas, picked up where he left off by dishing out nearly a dozen assists per set in the 2019 season opener. Thomas guided the No. 8 Buckeyes (1-0) to a .455 team hitting percentage in the 25-17, 25-18, 25-15 sweep over the University of Charleston (0-1) with 35 assists.
Four different Buckeyes recorded seven or more kills while attacking .500 or better. Redshirt sophomore Jake Hanes paced the squad in both quantity (13 kills) and quality (.611). Martin Lallemand bounced 10 kills at a .500 swing rate while Reese Devilbiss (.500) and Blake Leeson (.545) each registered seven kills.
Ohio State's aggressive approach at the service stripe also remains unchanged one match into the '19 campaign as the Buckeyes ripped 10 aces.
Aaron Samarin nearly matched the Golden Eagles team dig total on his own. The Buckeye libero dug 10 balls compared to just a dozen for the entire Charleston squad.
Thirteen Buckeyes saw action in the contest.
SET 1: The Buckeyes shook off a sluggish start to 2019. After falling behind 10-7 in the opening frame, Ohio State rattled of six straight to go ahead 13-10. The offense continued to roll from there, attacking a smooth .500 for the set. Hanes connected for five kills on six error-free attempts to lead the way, flanked by Leeson and Lallemand combining for seven kills on nine attempts with a lone error. Austin Gerwig, Jack Stevens and Luke Lentin all made their Buckeye debuts in the 25-17 set win.
SET 2: The rust was eradicated for set two as Ohio State raced out to a 5-1 edge. Charleston kept it close through most of the set despite the Buckeyes continuing to post fiery offensive numbers. Lallemand bounced five more kills and Hanes tacked on four. Ohio State swung .440 (14-3-25) and took the frame by a final tally of 25-18. The last point came from the right arm of Devilbiss, smoking a serve which caromed off the UC passer and into the stands beyond the baseline.
SET 3: It was much the same in the third with Ohio State grabbing an early lead and extending the gap as the set ensued. Kyle Skinner strolled on to the court late in the frame, striking an ace on his first serve as a Buckeye. He applied max top spin and the ball dove late to catch the baseline. A few points later it was Devilbiss sealing the deal again, 25-15, on his seventh kill of the evening.
St. John Arena reopens its doors Saturday night for another 7 p.m. home match. The Nittany Lions of Penn State visit Columbus for another chapter in the long men's volleyball rivalry between B1G brethren.
Purdue Fort Wayne 3, NJIT 0
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The No. 14 Purdue Fort Wayne men's volleyball team took a 3-0 win (25-17, 26-24, 25-20) over the NJIT Highlanders on Friday (Jan. 4). The Mastodons hit .330 in their win on Arnie Ball Court.
Pelegrin Vargas led the Mastodons with a .458 hitting clip (14-3-24) and also pitched in eight digs. His 6-1-8 first set hitting was a major factor, when Purdue Fort Wayne as a team hit .483 in the opening frame. The 'Dons and Highlanders were tied at 8 before Purdue Fort Wayne opened up a four-point lead and forced an NJIT timeout. Five straight points later on gave the Mastodons a 23-15 advantage before taking the set. NJIT ended the first set with .000 hitting.
Purdue Fort Wayne struggled to open up any significant lead in the second set, never leading by more than two points. NJIT led by three at 14-11, but the 'Dons pushed back throughout the rest of the set. The Mastodons retook the lead at 21-20 behind a kill from Vargas. After back-and-forth play for the rest of the set, Vargas got a kill and Tony Price got a service ace to end the second frame.
The last set of the night was even until 11-11, but the 'Dons went on a five-point run to open up a 16-11 lead that NJIT could not take back. It was capped off by Richie Diedrich's second ace of the night, forcing the NJIT timeout. The Highlanders got no closer than four the rest of the way due to a final percentage of .030 for the third set.
The good hitting by the Mastodons set up Michael Keegan to have a good statistical night, with 40 assists. He also added two kills, six digs and a block. Diedrich had nine kills with a .389 clip while Tomas Gago had seven kills for .455. Gago team up with Price to have four blocks each. Kolbie Knorr had a good start to his senior season, picking up 10 digs at the libero spot.
The Mastodons held NJIT to .127 hitting for the night, with no hitter garnering more than six kills.
Purdue Fort Wayne improves to 1-0 with the win while NJIT falls to 0-1. The 'Dons next match is set for Saturday night (Jan. 5) with Princeton at 7 p.m
Lewis 3, North Greenville 0
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – The seventh ranked Lewis men's volleyball team opened its 2019 season with a sweep of North Greenville on Friday night at Neil Carey Arena. The Flyers (1-0) won by scores of 25-5, 25-13 and 39-37.
Lewis opened the match scoring the first 12 points, 11 of which were served by Matt Yoshimoto (Ventura, CA/Adolfo Camarillo). He had five service aces in the run while TJ Murray (Barrington, IL/Barrington), Ryan Coenen (Franklin, WI/Franklin) and Julian Moses (Atlanta, GA/Atlanta International School) all had kills. Coenen and Murray also teamed up for a pair of assisted blocks in the run.
The Flyers led by as many as 19 points in the set and set a school record for fewest points allowed in a set in the rally scoring era with five.
Lewis hit .615 in the frame with nine kills against one error in 13 swings. Coenen and Murray led the way with three kills apiece.
The middle stanza featured five ties and two lead changes before the Flyers took control with a 7-0 run to build a 12-6 lead on a kill from Moses. The lead grew to 11 but North Greenville cut the deficit to 20-12 after a service error from Moses. That would be the closest it got as Lewis finished the set on a 5-1 run to take the commanding 2-0 lead.
The third set saw 21 ties and four lead changes. The Flyers led by as many as four points but the Crusaders came back to even things at 23 on a double block from Aaron Campbell and Carter Eby.
Tyler Mitchem (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) gave Lewis the first of what would be 12 match points at 24-23 but NGU extended the match on a kill from Campbell. The Flyers had to fight off three set points before finally closing the match out on a block from Mitchem and Kyle Bugee (Los Altos, CA/Homestead) to win 39-37.
Lewis finished the match hitting .441 with 41 kills against 11 errors in 68 chances, had 11 service aces and 19 total blocks. Mitchem had a match-high 10 kills and four total blocks. Coenen and Murray finished with seven kills each. Yoshimoto distributed 20 assists and had a team-high four digs.
North Greenville ended the contest with an attack percentage of .128 (29 kills/19 errors/78 total attacks). Jackson Gilbert led the Crusaders with nine kills while Ben Hamsho added six. Jake Boldog finished with 20 assists and four digs.
The Flyers return to the court on Saturday hosting fourth ranked UC Irvine at 7 p.m.
Ball State, Princeton 0
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State University men's volleyball team kicked off the 2019 season in style as it made quick work of EIVA favorite Princeton with a 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-21, 25-18) on Friday night at Worthen Arena.
The Cardinals' record stands at 1-0 after the first match while Princeton was left looking for its first win of the new year and now sits at 0-3. Ball State has now won 11 consecutive home matches dating back to last season.
"I think the guys did a good job of listening to our coaches and adjusting as the match went on," said head coach Joel Walton. "Princeton does some unusual things and it took us a little while to get used to that, but the guys adjusted well. Our offense played well tonight. I thought Jake Romano did a great job getting the ball in front of the right people in the right moments."
Romano provided solid leadership for the Cardinals all night as he finished with a stat line of 30 assists, two service aces, two block assists, four kills and seven digs. Ball State was also gifted with impressive college debuts from true freshmen Kaleb Jenness and Felix Egharevba.
Jenness led the Ball State attack with 13 total kills, including a perfect first set in which he went 7-for-7 on attack attempts. The South Carolina native also produced two assists, two block assists and four digs. Egharevba was a perfect 6-for-6 on attack attempts on the night while adding three block assists and two digs.
"Kaleb brought ball control and offense tonight," Walton said. "He was hitting a super high number and finished at .588. Felix on the other hand is on the court because he can score points for us. Sometimes you put middles out there just for their blocking, but Felix is somebody we can put on the court and he scores in multiple ways."
Overall, the Cardinals outhit Princeton by a mark of .486 to .262. BSU put down 42 kills to the Tigers' 36 and won the dig battle 29 to 18. Ball State also had six more assists on the night with a 40 to 34 advantage.
Princeton jumped out to an early lead in the first set, quickly going up 7-4. Walton took a timeout and it paid off as the Cardinals eventually went on a 3-0 run to draw within two. BSU continued to crawl back and eventually took a 17-15 advantage on a 4-0 spurt and never looked back in the set.
Set two belonged to Ball State from the start as it forced multiple timeouts from the Tigers in the opening stages. The lead got as big as five and Princeton could never tie it up as the Cardinals went on to win 25-21. The Tigers led early in the final set until BSU knotted things at 15 apiece and eventually put together a 5-0 run on the way to putting the match out of reach. The Cardinals won the final three points of the night to put the exclamation point on the win.
Ball State has little time to celebrate as it faces a quick turnaround with New Jersey Institute of Technology coming to town on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET. Live video and stats can be found on BallStateSports.com while admission to the match is free.
UC Irvine 3, Loyola 2
(Recap to follow)