Senior Derek Kues
Jan. 30, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 10 Ohio State men's volleyball team returns to St. John Arena and hosts a pair of non-conference matches this weekend, Feb. 1-2. The Buckeyes face NJIT Friday and then take on George Mason Saturday. Both matches will be played at 7 p.m. ET and admission is free.
Friday, February 1, 7 p.m. ET
No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-2) vs. NJIT (1-5)
Saturday, February 2, 7 p.m. ET
Ohio State vs. George Mason (2-4)
The Buckeyes opened MIVA play last weekend, traveling to conference newcomer Lindenwood for a pair of matches. Ohio State topped Lindenwood Saturday, 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-22), and followed with another sweep of the Lions Sunday, 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-20).
Sophomore Michael Henchy led the squad with 23 kills on the weekend, including 15 in Saturday's win. Redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz totaled 19 with 15 coming on Sunday. Redshirt senior John Tholen totaled eight blocks over six sets played, while senior Grayson Overman totaled seven block assists.
With the 3-0 win over Lindenwood Saturday, the Buckeyes have won their last seven MIVA-opening matches dating back to the 2007 season. During that span, Ohio State has captured at least a share of the MIVA regular season title every year and has captured the conference tournament four out of the last six seasons.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State enters the weekend as the No. 10 team in the AVCA Division I-II Men's Top 15 poll, moving up a spot from last week's poll. MIVA rival Lewis ranks 15th and Loyola-Chicago is receiving votes. The Buckeyes are also ranked 10th in the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 poll.
The sophomore quartet of outside hitter Michael Henchy, opposite Andrew Lutz, libero Brennan Anderson and setter Peter Heinen has put together solid numbers so far this season to lead the Buckeyes both offensively and defensively.
Lutz and Henchy lead the squad in kills, averaging 3.43 and 3.42 kills per set, respectively. Henchy has a team-high 89 kills on the season and leads the squad with 10 service aces. Lutz is second on the team with 72 kills and six aces. Both are among the MIVA's best in kills, aces and points.
Heinen has guided the Buckeye offensive, dishing out 267 assists so far this year. His 10.27 assists average ranks fifth overall among MIVA opponents. Anderson has a conference-best 79 digs over 26 sets played and is second overall with a 3.04 digs average.
A handful of Buckeyes have totaled double-digit figures so far this season. Sophomores Michael Henchy and Andrew Lutz each have reached double-digit kills in five matches this year, including a 20-kill performance for Lutz at Hawai'i (1/10). Henchy notched his first double-double of the season against the Warriors, finishing with 17 kills and 13 digs.
Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson has totaled four double-digit dig performances for the Buckeyes. He reached a career-best at Saint Francis (1/20) after recording 18 digs in the four-set win. Redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen picked up his first double-double of year at Hawai'i with 58 assists and a career-high 13 digs. Senior Chen Levitan has had two matches with double-digit kills, including a career-best 16 kills and 10 digs at Hawai'i.
The NJIT Highlanders stand at 1-5 overall record. The Highlanders are coming off a 0-3 week, having lost a pair of 3-0 matches to the MIVA's Lewis and Loyola-Chicago this past weekend. NJIT recently dropped a 3-2 match to Kean Tuesday.
Sophomore Kajetan Borecki leads the team in kills with a 2.35 average and 54 overall, while redshirt senior Doug Battersby leads in blocks with 24 (6s, 18a). Senior Matthew Lui has a 6.50 assist average and classmate Brady Smith has a team-best 70 digs.
The Buckeyes lead the series 10-1 with the Highlanders only win coming in 1995 in five sets (15-6, 16-17, 15-8, 12-15, 13-15).
The Patriots enter the weekend with a 2-4 record following a 1-1 finish last week on the road. GMU notched a 3-1 win over Loyola-Chicago Friday Jan. 25 before falling to Lewis in five sets the next night.
Andrew Dentler has a team-best 81 kills over 21 sets played, averaging 3.86 per set. Setter Javier Perez leads the squad with a 9.86 assists average and Piotr Dabrowski has a team-high 37 blocks (8s, 29a) overall.
The Patriots hold a slim 25-23 lead in the series history dating back to 1981. However, Ohio State has won the last seven meetings, including a pair of victories last year.
MIVA PRESEASON POLL
The Ohio State men's volleyball team was chosen to finish third in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association by a vote of the league coaches. The Buckeyes return four starters and a libero from last year's squad that captured a share of MIVA regular season title with a 9-3 record.
The 2012 MIVA tournament champion Lewis was voted as the conference favorite with 62 points and six first place votes. Loyola-Chicago was picked to finish second, having 54 points and one first place vote. Ohio State came in a close third with 52 points and one first place vote.
Sophomore outside hitter Michael Henchy was selected to the MIVA preseason All-Conference team. The Ventura, Calif., product played in 21 matches for the Buckeyes last season and averaged 1.66 kills per set. Henchy had a solid summer in 2012 as he helped Team USA to a gold medal at the Junior Continental Championships in Colorado Springs.
HEAD COACH Pete Hanson
The Buckeyes are led by head coach Pete Hanson, who is in his 29th year with the program. He has guided the Buckeyes to 15 MIVA regular season titles, including the team's sixth-consecutive title this past season. 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 567-299 overall at Ohio State and boasts a 242-72 record against MIVA opponents.
Ohio State travels to nationally-ranked Penn State for a non-conference match Feb. 9. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions face off at 8 p.m. ET from Rec Hall.