Ohio State (5-9, 1-3 MIVA ) picked up its first league win Saturday, defeating Quincy (4-10, 0-4 MIVA) in four sets, 25-23, 25-19, 24-26, 25-19.
Ohio State had dropped twelve straight sets in their four straight losses coming into the match, but a dominant performance by redshirt senior middle blocker Blake Leeson and a solid defensive showing helped the Buckeyes snap their four-match skid and get back in the win column.
The Hawks rode six straight points, including three kills by junior outside hitter Omari Wheeler and two service aces by redshirt senior middle blocker Jacob Sheets to take an early 7-3 lead. Leeson used a kill and back-to-back aces to bring the Buckeyes within one.
A four-point run featuring kills by Leeson, redshirt sophomore outside hitter Tyler Alter and freshman libero Parker Mikesch gave the Buckeyes a 20-18 advantage, which they would carry to the end of the set, 25-23.
Leeson played his best game of the season, recording a team-high 16 kills, two aces and five total blocks, adding three digs and an assist. He had an errorless match, leading to a .696 hitting percentage.
Wheeler led the Hawks, totaling 20 kills, four total blocks and four digs.
A kill by Wheeler left Quincy down by just two in the fourth set, but Ohio State went on a four-point tear, including kills by Mikesch, Alter and sophomore outside hitter Kyle Skinner.
Doling out 45 assists as the Buckeyes’ setter, Mikesch set the Buckeyes up for success early and often, as well as providing three kills and two blocks in support.
In the second set, Mikesch assisted an Alter kill to ignite a four-point burst from the Buckeyes, ballooning their lead to 19-14. Later in the set, Mikesch assisted a kill by Leeson, helping Ohio State close out the set with three straight points.
Errors continued to be an issue for the Buckeyes, as they committed 21 attack and 11 service, but Quincy had even more trouble keeping the ball in-bounds, committing 27 attack and 13 service errors.
Ohio State looked as if it would close out the third set, but a kill by freshman outside hitter Stevie Bresser gave the Hawks match point with a one-point advantage. A Quincy service error ensured overtime, but two quick attack errors by the Buckeyes gave the third set to the Hawks, 26-24.
Ohio State returns to action against Lewis at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. John Arena.