No. 12 Buckeyes Open 2014 Season at Competitive Outrigger Invitational
Jan. 8, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 47th season of Ohio State men's volleyball kicks off Thursday as the No. 12 Buckeyes travel to Hawai'i for the 20th Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Invitational, Jan. 9-11, in Honolulu. Joining the Buckeyes in the tournament is host No. 14 Hawai'i, No. 7 UCLA and No. 11 Penn State.
Thursday, January 9
UCLA vs. Penn State - 4 p.m. HT
Hawai'i vs. Ohio State - 7 p.m. HT
Friday, January 10
Ohio State vs. UCLA - 4 p.m. HT
Hawai'i vs. Penn State - 7 p.m. HT
Saturday, January 11
Ohio State vs. Penn State - 4 p.m. HT
Hawai'i vs. UCLA - 7 p.m. HT
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
Under the direction of head coach Pete Hanson, the 2014 edition of the Ohio State Buckeyes features a lineup of experienced juniors in setter Peter Heinen, opposite Andrew Lutz, outside hitter Michael Henchy and middle blocker Shawn Herron.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State will start its season as the 12th-ranked team in the AVCA Division I-II Coaches Top 15 preseason poll. The team is one of four MIVA schools ranked as Loyola ranks No. 2 and Lewis is No. 8 and IPFW stands at No. 15.
The Buckeyes are receiving votes in the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 poll, while Loyola is No. 2 and Lewis is No. 9.
MIVA PRESEASON POLL
The Ohio State men's volleyball was chosen to finish third in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association by a vote of the league coaches. The Buckeyes return three starters from last year's squad that finished tied for third in the league with a 9-5 record.
The 2012 MIVA Tournament champion and regular season co-champion Loyola was voted as the conference favorite with 62 points and seven first place votes. Lewis was picked to finish second with 57 points and one first place vote. Ohio State came in third with 47 points.
Junior outside hitter Michael Henchy was selected to the MIVA Preseason All-Conference team. The Ventura, Calif., product started in 25 matches for the Buckeyes last season and finished second on the squad with 301 kills and a 3.34 kills average. He was selected to the 2013 MIVA All-Conference first team and also earned preseason honors last year.
The 2013 Buckeyes finished the season with a 19-8 mark and concluded MIVA play tied for third in the league at 9-5. Ohio State hosted the first round of the MIVA Tournament and fell in five sets to Grand Canyon. The squad came in ranked No. 15 in the final AVCA poll.
Four student-athletes earned All-MIVA honors at the end of the season. Junior Michael Henchy and former Buckeye Brennan Anderson were placed on the first team, while junior Andrew Lutz and former Buckeye John Tholen were honored on the second team.
Ohio State said goodbye to seven seniors last year, including experienced middle blockers Tholen and Grayson Overman.
The Rainbow Warriors open their season as the 14th-ranked team in the country. Hawai'i was selected to finish ninth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) following an 11-17 overall 2013 record and a 10-14 conference mark last season.
Junior Brook Sedore returns as the team's top hitter from last year, finishing with a 2.96 kills average. Senior setter Joby Ramos and sophomore outside hitter Sinisa Zarkovic join Sedore in experience. Ramos finished with a team-best 9.19 assists average and Zarkovic was second on the squad with a 2.90 kills average.
Hawai'i leads the overall series with a 3-1 record. The Buckeyes picked up their first win over the Rainbow Warriors last year, defeating Hawai'i in five sets to open the 2013 Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Invitational.
The No. 7 UCLA Bruins kicked off 2013 at the UCSB Invitational last weekend and are 0-1 on the early season after a 3-1 loss to Stanford. The squad was selected to finish fourth in the MPSF this year after a 21-11 overall finish last season and a 16-8 mark in the league.
Senior outside hitter Gonzalo Quiroga led the team in 2013 with 420 kills and a 3.68 average. Classmate Robart Page also returns to the team this year after finishing second last season with a 3.18 kills average. Middle blocker Spencer Rowe guided the front row defense for Bruins and totaled 112 blocks for a .91 average.
UCLA holds a 15-1 record over the Buckeyes. The two teams met in last year's edition of the Outrigger Invitational with the Bruins taking a 3-2 victory.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
The No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions enter the year as the preseason EIVA favorite after capturing the league title last season with 23-8 finish in 2013 and a 13-1 conference mark.
Leading the team is lone senior Peter Russell. The outside hitter came in second on the team with a 2.77 kills per set average behind younger brother Aaron Russell. The younger Russell led the Nittany Lions with 366 kills for a 3.59 average. Setter Taylor Hammond returns to the team after guiding Penn State in assists with a 10.95 average.
Penn State holds a 68-39-1 record against Ohio State. The two teams met three times last year with the Nittany Lions opening the season series with a 3-0 win in Hawai'i. The Buckeyes responded with a pair of three-set victories both on the road and at home.
HEAD COACH Pete Hanson
The Buckeyes are led by head coach Pete Hanson, who is in his 30th year with the program. He has guided the Buckeyes to 15 MIVA regular season titles, including the six straight from 2007-2012. Under his direction, Ohio State captured its first NCAA Division I-II title in 2011 as the squad defeated UC Santa Barbara in five sets.
The Buckeyes have totaled 18 20-win seasons with Hanson and have reached the NCAA Championships 10 times. Hanson is 581-305 overall at Ohio State in his 29 seasons and boasts a 248-76 record against MIVA opponents.
Ohio State opens its home schedule with a pair of non-conference matches. The Buckeyes will face Lees-McRae, Jan. 17, and George Mason, Jan. 18. Both matches will be played at 7 p.m. ET in St. John Arena. Admission is free.