Ohio State Sweeps Ball State for the MIVA Tournament Championship


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Columbus, Ohio - The top-seeded Ohio State (20-7 overall) men's volleyball team used a strong defense to defeat second-seeded Ball State (21-10), 3-0 (30-19, 30-24, 30-21) to win the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tournament championship Saturday night in St. John Arena.

It marked Ohio State's 11th tournament championship and the fourth since 2000 (2000, 01, 05, 08). The victory moves the Buckeyes into the NCAA National Semifinals, May 1 at UC Irvine. Pairings and times will be announced later.

Ohio State's Brett Versen (5th-Sr., Centerville, Ohio) posted a match-high 21 points in the contest with Robbie Klein (Sr.-Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio) adding 12. Versen recorded a match-high 15 kills (.440), two ace serves and a match-high seven (1-6) blocks. Klein posted 10 kills, one ace serve and two assist blocks. Ball State's Todd Chamberlain scored a team-high 10 points for the Cardinals with nine kills and one ace serve.

In game one, Ohio State secured the lead for good with a Ben Spurlock (Sr.-So., Stow, Ohio) kill at 5-4. Two Cardinal errors made it 7-4. At 9-6, OSU, a J.D. Gasparovic kill cut the margin to two at 9-7. A Daniel Mathews (Sr., Shorewood, Wis.)-Ted Schoenfeldt (So., Northbrook, Ill.) block followed by a Cardinal kill by Patrick Durbin made it 10-8. Kills from Schoenfeldt and Versen and a Ball State error made it 13-8 forcing a Ball State time out. A Cardinal error and a solo block by Versen followed to open a seven point Ohio State lead at 15-8. Ohio State, at 28-19, reached game point with a Jason Tobkin (So.-Fr., Fairfield, Ohio) kill at 29-19. The Buckeyes closed out the game with a Mathews-John Albertson (Sr.-Jr., Ballwin, Mo.) for a 30-19 win. Ohio State hit .714 for the game to .107 for Ball State.

Ball State opened game two with a Durbin kill and an OSU error for a 2-0 Cardinal lead. With the Buckeyes trailing, 7-5, back-to-back kills by Klein tied the game at seven. A Cardinal error and a Tobkin kill gave Ohio State a 9-7 lead. At 10-8, a Gasparovic kill cut the Ohio State lead to one at 10-9. A kill from Mathews and a Ball State error gave the Buckeyes a 12-9 lead. Durbin, with a kill made it 12-10. Buckeye kills from Schoenfeldt and Versen and two blocks by Versen and Schoenfeldt gave OSU a 16-10 lead. With Ball State trailing, 18-13, a Matt McCarthy kill, an Ethan Pheister block and an OSU error cut the lead to two at 18-16. At 19-17, a Spurlock kill made the lead three at 20-17. A Buckeye error and a Chamberlain ace serve made it 20-19. A kill by Klein and a Cardinal error made it 22-19. An OSU error and a Versen kill made the lead three at 23-20. A Cardinal error and a Versen kill made the lead five at 25-20. At 28-23, Spurlock, with a kill, set game point at 29-23. A Chamberlain kill stopped the game point at 29-24. A Cardinal error ended the game at 30-24 to give Ohio State a 2-0 lead in the match. The Buckeyes hit .342 for the game to .053 for Ball State.

With game three tied at two, a Gasparovic kill, a Buckeye error and a Durbin kill opened a 5-2 Ball State lead. OSU responded with a Schoenfeldt kill and a Versen-Schoenfeldt block to make it 5-4 Cardinals. A Chamberlain kill and a Cardinal error made it 6-5. A Matt Sprague kill gave Ball State a 7-5 lead. Buckeye kills from Spurlock and Versen tied the game at seven. Tied at 13, two Cardinal errors and a Spurlock-Tobkin block gave Ohio State a 16-13 lead as Ball State called time out. Ohio State continued the run with a Tobkin kill, a Cardinal error, a Mathews-Spurlock block and a Spurlock-Tobkin block to reach 20-13 forcing the Cardinals to call time out. Ohio State took the lead to eight at 21-13 with a Versen ace serve. At 27-19, a solo block by Mark Termion and an OSU error cut the Buckeye lead to six at 27-21. A Versen kill and a Versen-Spurlock-Tobkin block set match point at 29-21. Ball State, with an attack error, ended the game at 30-21, for a 3-0 Ohio State victory. The Buckeyes hit .138 for the game to .000 for the Cardinals.

Ohio State hit .364 for the match to .053 for Ball State. The Buckeyes had a 48-33 advantage in kills and a five-to-two margin in ace serves. Ohio State gave up 11 service errors to eight for the Cardinals. Defensively, The Buckeyes had a 30-21 edge in digs with OSU's Mathews recording a match-high nine. At the net, Ohio State enjoyed a 15 to 5.5 advantage in team blocks. Versen collected a match-high seven (1-6) blocks in the match with Spurlock adding six assist blocks. At setter, Mathews had a match-high 41 assists for the Buckeyes while Pheister had 22 and Jeff Schmitz, 11 for Ball State.

Named to the MIVA All-Tournament team from Ball State were Durbin and Ian Peckler. Loyola-Chicago's Ian Anderson and Buckeyes' Versen and Klein were named to the team. Ohio State's Mathews was named the Most Valuable Player for the tournament. It marked the second time in his four-year career he has received the honor. He was named MVP in the 2005 tournament.

Article courtesy of Ohio State athletics.

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