No. 9 Ohio State Down No. 8 Ball State, 3-1, Earn Share of MIVA Championship


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Columbus, Ohio - The ninth-ranked Ohio State (17-7 overall, 10-1 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) men's volleyball team, behind a match-high 26.5 points from Robbie Klein (Sr.-Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio), earned at least a share of the MIVA championship with a 3-1 (28-30, 30-27, 30-23, 30-23) victory over eighth-ranked Ball State (18-9, 9-2) Thursday night in St. John Arena.

Both teams close out the regular season with conference matches Saturday, Ohio State hosting Mercyhurst (5-18, 1-10) and Ball State playing at 15th-ranked Lewis (20-8, 7-4).

Klein's match-high 26.5 points included a match-high 23 kills, three ace serves and an assist block. Ball State's Todd Chamberlain had a team-high 20 points for the Cardinals with 19 kills and two assist blocks.

Ball State broke the third tie (7-7) of game one with a Chamberlain kill and one from Patrick Durbin to take a 9-7 lead in the game. The Cardinals never trailed building five point leads twice. At 25-20, two kills from Ben Spurlock (Sr.-So., Stow, Ohio) and a Ball State error cut the Cardinal lead to two at 25-23. At 28-26, a Marcus Imwalle kill set game point for Ball State at 29-26. A Cardinal error and a Klein kill stopped two game points to cut the lead to one at 29-28. Ball State won the game, 30-28 with a J. D. Gasparovic kill to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Cardinals hit .340 for the game to .255 for the Buckeyes.

Tied at nine in game two, a Jason Tobkin (So.-Fr., Fairfield, Ohio) ace serve and a Spurlock kill gave Ohio State an 11-9 lead. Ahead by two at 13-11, a Gasparovic solo block cut the OSU lead to one. Ohio State responded with a Ted Schoenfeldt (So., Northbrook, Ill.) kill and back-to-back ace serves from Tobkin to take a 16-12 lead. At 24-20, a Brett Versen (5th-Sr., Centerville, Ohio) kill and a Spurlock solo block opened a six point lead for the Buckeyes. Two OSU errors and a Durbin kill cut the lead to 26-23. A Cardinal error made it 27-23. Two Chamberlain kill made it 27-25. Kills from Klein and Durbin moved the score to 28-26. A kill by Klein set game point at 29-26. Ball State, with a Gasparovic-Durbin block, stopped the game point at 29-27. Klein connected for a kill to end the game at 30-27 for Ohio State and tie the match at one game each. Ball State hit .414 for the game, while Ohio State hit .345.

Ball State broke an 8-8 tie in game three with an Ethan Pheister block and an Imwalle kill to take a 10-8 lead. At 12-11, kills from Chamberlain and Durbin gave the Cardinals a 14-11 lead. OSU cut the lead to one with a Schoenfeldt-Klein block and a Versen kill to make the score, 14-13. Errors by both teams moved the score to 15-14. A Schoenfeldt ace serve tied the game at 15. A Cardinal error and a second ace by Schoenfeldt and a kill by Klein gave Ohio State an 18-15 lead. Leading 24-21, a Tobkin kill and a Versen-Tobkin-Schoenfeldt block gave the Buckeyes a 26-21 lead. Ball State responded with a block from Imwalle and Gasparovic to make it 26-22. Ohio State reached game point with a Klein kill, a Schoenfeldt ace serve and a Versen kill to lead, 29-22. Chamberlain stopped the game point with a kill at 29-23. A Versen kill gave Ohio State a 30-23 win in the game and a 2-1 lead in the match. Ohio State hit .286 for the game to .111 for the Cardinals.

A Versen kill and a Tobkin ace serve opened game four for the Buckeyes with a 2-0 lead. After a Matt McCarthy kill made it 2-1, OSU kills from Spurlock and Klein, a Spurlock ace serve and a Cardinal error opened a 6-1 Buckeye lead. With Ball State trailing, 14-10, two OSU errors cut the margin to 14-12. A Schoenfeldt solo block made it 15-12, OSU. A Durbin kill, a Mark Termion-Gasparovic block and an OSU error tied the game at 15. Ball State took a 16-15 lead with a Gasparovic-Imwalle block. A Cardinal error tied the game at 16. Ball State took a 17-16 lead with an Imwalle kill. An ace serve by Gasparovic made it 18-16, Ball State. Tobkin, with two kills, tied the game at 18. The Buckeyes took a 19-18 lead with a Spurlock kill. A Tobkin kill, a block from Tobkin and Spurlock and a Klein kill opened a 22-18 Buckeye lead. An OSU error made it 22-19. Kills from Versen and Klein gave Ohio State a 24-19 lead. A McCarthy-Pheister block and a Spurlock kill moved the score to 25-20. A Buckeye error and a Schoenfeldt kill made it 26-21. A Gasparovic kill cut the lead to four at 26-22. A Cardinal error and a Versen kill made it 28-22. Gasparovic, with a kill, cut the lead to five at 28-23. The Buckeyes reached match point with a Versen kill at 29-23. A Cardinal error ended the game at 30-23, Ohio State, giving the Buckeyes a 3-1 win in the match. Ohio State hit .167 for the game to .083 for Ball State.

Ohio State hit .252 for the match to .236 for Ball State. The Buckeyes had a 66-60 advantage in kills and a nine to four margin in ace serves. OSU's Schoenfeldt and Klein shared match-high honors with three aces each. The Cardinals gave up 18 service errors to 12 for the Buckeyes. Defensively, Ball State had a 56-53 edge in digs with Ian Peckler recording a match-high 19. OSU's Versen posted a career-high 12 digs in the match. At the net, the Cardinals had an 11 to nine advantage in team blocks. Ball State's Gasparovic recorded a match-high seven blocks with one solo and six assist. At setter, Pheister posted a match-high 57 assists for Ball State with OSU's Daniel Mathews (Sr., Shorewood, Wis.) collecting 55.

Ohio State closes out the regular season Saturday by hosting Mercyhurst at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena.

Article courtesy of Ohio State athletics.

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