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Buckeyes tame Mastadons

After opening the season with a series of tough matches in Hawaii last weekend, the No. 11 Ohio State men’s volleyball team opened up Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association conference play with a 3-0 sweep (30-16, 34-32, 30-24) against Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne Friday night at St. John Arena.


Ohio State (1-3, 1-0) faced stiff competition last weekend at the Outriggers Hotels Invitational, falling to No. 12 Hawaii, No. 5 Penn State, and No. 1 USC, and was looking to regroup with a statement win in their MIVA conference opener against IPFW (2-1, 0-1).


“You don’t want to get behind the eight ball early in conference play,” coach Pete Hanson said.

“You have got to take of care of your home court plus win a few on the road and now we’re in a good position to keep that rolling.”


The Buckeyes showcased why they are a defending conference champion as they displayed dominance as well as overcoming adversity in a decisive victory over the Mastodons.


Ohio State came out focused early, assisted by 10 IPFW errors, and easily won the first game 30-16. However, in the second game, the Mastodons set the tempo early and led the majority of the game, forcing a game point against the Buckeyes, leading 29-28 when Hanson called a timeout.


“We just made sure we were all on the same page,” Hanson said. “We made sure all the guys knew what we wanted done, how we were going to get it done, and to just take a deep breath, relax and play.”


The Buckeyes won the next point and eventually took the second game, which featured 18 ties and several lead changes, 34-32. 


John Klanac had no doubt in his mind that the Buckeyes were capable of winning that game.


“I was pretty confident in our ability to do well,” the junior said. “Everyone had confidence in each other, we stayed positive and we were able to get the job done.”


After the break, OSU controlled from the start and won the third game, 30-24, never trailing and finishing off a sweep of the Mastodons.


The Buckeyes were led by impressive performances from senior Ted Schoenfeldt, posting a match-high 20 points and 15 kills and Klanac, who also contributed with 17.5 points and 13 kills. Sophomore Mik Berzins, who was switched to outside hitter for the match, added 11 points and 10 kills of his own. As a team, OSU hit .320 for the match, compared to just .150 by IPFW.


After the win, despite spending the previous weekend in Hawaii, Klanac said he was happy to be back home in Columbus.

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“It feels awesome,” Klanac said with a smirk. “Playing at St. John in front of the home crowd, it feels good.”


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