COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The No. 3 Ohio State University men's volleyball team hosts Saint Francis and No. 8 Penn State on Thursday (Jan. 25) and Sunday (Jan. 28), respectively. Free admission and free parking for both contests.
*Parking Note for Thursday: Despite a home men's basketball game that night, parking in the St. John Arena lots remains free for all volleyball match attendees. Alert the parking attendant as entering the lot.
Ohio State (3-2) vs. Saint Francis (4-4) | Thursday, Jan. 25 | 7 p.m. ET
Online broadcast: BTN Plus
Twitter updates: @OhioState_MVB
HISTORY WITH THE RED FLASH AND NITTANY LIONS
The Buckeyes have won 31 of 32 all-time meetings with Saint Francis, a series which dates back to 1993. Ohio State is riding a 12-match winning streak after suffering the lone defeat in 2010.
The Buckeyes have been victorious in five of the last seven matches against their Big Ten brethren, but Penn State owns a 72-39-1 advantage in the all-time series. Inside St. John Arena, Ohio State holds a 22-13 mark vs. the Nittany Lions. For men's volleyball, the Buckeyes compete in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) while Penn State is a member of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA).
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
St. John Arena has treated Ohio State men's volleyball well during the last 50-plus seasons, serving as the stage for a 546-104 (.840) all-time home record.
PUTTING UP NUMBERS
Entering the week, two Buckeyes could be found in the Top-10 nationally for statistical categories. Nicolas Szerszen is slotted second and fourth, respectively, with his 4.05 kills and 4.58 points per set averages. Sanil Thomas is averaged 10.38 assists/set, good for the eighth-best rate in the country.
NEW WAVE OF HEAVY CONTRIBUTORS
Four All-Americans in Christy Blough, Gabriel Domecus, Driss Guessous and Miles Johnson all graduated after the 2017 NCAA Championship run, leaving behind some opportunities in the starting lineup.
Sanil Thomas has assumed the full-time setter role and is dishing out 10.38 assists per set this season. Aaron Samarin now dons the libero jersey, responsible for 1.48 digs per set. Nick Laffin has started the first five contests in the middle, attacking .355 on 13 kills while recording eight blocks.