Columbus, OH – The Sacred Heart men's volleyball team was unable to overcome a stiff test in its season opener as the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes swept past the Pioneers, 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-12). Nick Hunt (Uniondale, NY) paced the SHU attack with 10 kills while Mike Komlanc (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) led the defense with four block assists.
Ohio State (3-3) surged out to an 11-3 advantage to start the first set as the Pioneers struggled to find their rhythm early. The Pioneers then began firing on all cylinders and engineered a 7-2 run that cut the deficit to 13-10 and forced a Buckeyes timeout following a block from Hunt and Komlanc. But the home team would keep up the pressure and eventually secured the set with a .385 hitting percentage. Shawn Sangrey was high on the OSU squad with 12 kills as Buckeyes took game one, 25-18.
Sacred Heart (0-1) got off to a better start in the middle set and owned a 5-3 edge after a kill from Bradley Borsay (Richmond, RI). The two sides battled back-and-forth throughout the middle stages of the frame and were level at 16-16. Ohio State would take control of the set from there, claiming the next four points to build a 20-16 cushion. SHU posted its best hitting percentage of the night in the second with a .308. But so did Ohio State as a .393 mark carried the Buckeyes to a 25-19 triumph and a 2-0 lead overall.
Ohio State jumped on the visitors early in the third set, seizing a 13-4 lead, and would never look back. SHU was held to just eight kills in the final game as OSU ended the match, 3-0, with a 25-12 victory in the third.
Freshman setter John Lutjen (Smithtown, NY) dished out 25 assists in his Pioneer debut.
The Pioneers will stay in the mid-west as the square-off with Ball State tomorrow night.