The No. 5 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (11-2, 4-0 MIVA) added a fourth conference win after defeating Quincy (8-6, 0-4 MIVA) in three sets (25-22, 25-15, 25-15).
The first set began as a blowout for the Buckeyes, who started the set with a 10 point lead, 12-2. In the next 20 plays, however, the Hawks made a comeback through a series of kills by Quincy senior outside hitter Anthony Winter and sophomore outside hitter Omari Wheeler. The Hawks also capitalized on Ohio State’s errors and pulled within one point, trailing 18-17.
“It was a little disappointing the way we came out and got a big lead in set one and then just kind of gave them some runs of points on our errors,” Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson said.
The Buckeyes scored seven more points and kept the Hawks at bay to win the set 25-22. Ohio State senior outside hitter Maxime Hervoir hit a .556 and contributed six of the team’s 14 kills in the opening set.
Redshirt junior middle blocker Blake Leeson came alive in the second set, helping out the team both in defense and offense with three blocks and two kills. Ohio State hit a .526 and won the second set 25-15.
The third set of the match was another struggle for the Hawks, who hit .000 for the second-straight set. Quincy had a total of four kills compared to the Buckeyes’ 15 kills. Dominating the set, Ohio State spread out its offense with consistent attacks across the board, leading to another 25-15 win to seal the match.
Hanson said he felt his team did well responding to the rough first set, bouncing back to dominate the final two sets of the match.
“It was nice to see that the guys understood that’s not acceptable, and they played a much cleaner game in sets two and three and did what we’re capable of doing,” he said.
Throughout the match, Hervoir and ’ sophomore outside hitter Reese Devilbiss stood out offensively. Hervoir led the team with 11 kills and Devilbiss had a team-high 13.5 points. Leeson topped the blocking leaderboard with four total blocks.
The Buckeyes have not lost a conference game and Quincy has not won a conference game, so the Buckeyes had to deal with the threat of remaining focused despite the difference in the level of competition.
“I knew it would be a team that if we fell asleep, it would be hard,” Hervoir said. “Like you have seen, in the first set, they came back. We were way ahead and they came back slowly just because we fell asleep. Because of that, I was ready to put energy on the court and help everybody to talk, talk, talk, talk.”
Despite winning, Hervoir said Ohio State did not play as aggressively as he felt it should.