No. 15 Ohio State Travels to No. 1 Loyola for MIVA Tilt
Jan. 30, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 15 Ohio State men's volleyball team is set to travel to No. 1 Loyola for a Saturday match in Chicago. The MIVA rivals face off in a 5 p.m. ET tilt in Gentile Arena.
Saturday, February 1 - 5 p.m. ET
No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-3, 2-0 MIVA) at No. 1 Loyola (6-1)
QUINCY, LINDENWOOD RECAP
The No. 15 Ohio State men's volleyball team captured two road conference matches, Jan. 25-24, with wins over Quincy and Lindenwood. The Buckeyes topped Quincy in three-sets (25-21, 25-18, 25-23) Friday, and followed with a 3-1 (25-18, 16-25, 25-22, 25-17) win over Lindenwood Saturday.
Redshirt junior opposite Andrew Lutz had a team-best 33 kills along with seven digs. Junior outside hitter Michael Henchy recorded 24 kills, seven digs and five blocks (1s, 4a). Redshirt freshman middle blocker Driss Guessous notched seven blocks (1s, 6a) and eight kills, while freshman outside hitter Gabriel Domecus added a team-best 11 digs.
Redshirt junior Andrew Lutz picked up his second-consecutive MIVA Offensive Player of the Week honor, the league announced Tuesday. The opposite was also awarded the honor Jan. 21.
Lutz continued to improve his kills per set average for the season after tallying a 4.71 average this past weekend. The North Reading, Mass., product opened play last week with a match-high 16 kills in the three-set win at Quincy Friday night, finishing with a .400 (16-6-25) attack percentage in the victory. He added two service aces and a season-best six digs for the Buckeyes.
At Lindenwood Saturday, Lutz totaled a season-high 17 kills against the Lions and chipped in with two service aces and one block assist. He set a season-best in points with 19.5 in the 3-1 win.
Overall, Lutz leads the MIVA with a 3.77 kills per set average and is third in the league with a 4.39 points average.
BUCKEYES IN THE MIVA
In its 46th season in the league, the Ohio State men's volleyball program has an impressive 394-98 overall record in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA). The Buckeyes have captured a conference-best 24 regular season titles and 14 MIVA Tournament championships. Overall, Ohio State has produced 20 MIVA player of the year awards and has garnered 172 all-MIVA selections
Under head coach Pete Hanson, Ohio State is 250-76 and has won 15 regular season titles over Hanson's 29 seasons. He has been named the conference's coach of the year 11 times and has guided the team to 10 MIVA tournament crowns.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State enters the weekend as the 15th-ranked team in the AVCA Division I-II Coaches Top 15 preseason poll. The team is one of four MIVA schools ranked as Loyola is tied for first, Lewis is No. 10 and IPFW stands at No. 14.
The Buckeyes have seen big numbers from a group of experienced juniors so far this season. Leading the way offensively is opposite Andrew Lutz and outside hitter Michael Henchy. The pair is averaging 3.77 and 2.68 kills per set, respectively, and is two of the team's toughest servers. Pacing the Ohio State offense is setter Peter Heinen. The Wauwatosa, Wis., product has a team-best 9.44 assists average and has started the last four matches.
A pair of middles in Dustan Neary and Shawn Herron has provided big blocks for the Buckeyes this season. Neary, a junior college transfer, has started four matches and has totaled 10 blocks early. He is also second on the squad with a .414 attack percentage. Herron, who started the first three matches for Ohio State, sat out for a couple of weeks with an injury, but is back to full is good to play this weekend. Prior to his injury, Herron was averaging 1.00 blocks per set.
A handful of Ohio State newcomers have seen significant playing time early this year. Redshirt freshman Driss Guessous has started all six matches at middle blocker and has a team-best 21 blocks on the season. The Pasadena, Calif., native leads the squad with a .522 attack percentage and is third overall with 43 kills.
Freshman outside hitter Gabriel Domecus has also started in all seven matches and is second on the team with 30 digs and a 1.43 average. Classmates Miles Johnson and Christy Blough have provided the Buckeyes with depth at outside hitter and setter, respectively.
The No. 1 Loyola Ramblers are coached by Shane Davis in his 11th season as head coach of the program. The Ramblers currently hold a 6-1 overall record and will open up their MIVA schedule against the Buckeyes. Loyola is coming off of a 2-0 weekend with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-18) win over Sacred Heart and a three-set (25-19, 25-14, 25-14) sweep of then-No. 13 Harvard.
The Ramblers are led offensively by redshirt senior opposite Joseph Smalzer with 78 kills and sophomore outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke with 70 kills. Smalzer is leading the nation on the service line, averaging .92 service aces per set with 23 on the season. Defensively, sophomore Nicholas Olson leads the MIVA with a 1.48 blocking average and has 37 (4s, 33a) overall.
The Buckeyes lead the series over the Ramblers 31-14. The two squads met twice last season as Ohio State opened the series with a 3-2 (25-16, 25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13) win at home. The Buckeyes then faced the Ramblers at Loyola where the Ramblers came away with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 28-26) victory.
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 585-308 overall at Ohio State in his 29 seasons and boasts a 250-76 record against MIVA opponents.
Buckeyes Michael Henchy and Driss Guessous earned the opportunity to don the Red, White and Blue this summer, representing the United States at the FIVB Men's U-21 World Championship held Aug. 22-Sept. 1 in Ankara and Izmir, Turkey.
The pair was selected from a field of 22 in late June to the final 12-player roster. A familiar face was at the helm of the program in Ohio State's own head coach Pete Hanson and Buckeye assistant Sean Byron also served the same capacity for Team USA.
Team USA struggled a bit throughout the tournament and finished the 20-team championship in 11th overall. Despite leaving Turkey without a medal, Team USA did leave on a high note with a three-set win over rival Canada.
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.
Ohio State travels to State College, Pa., for a midweek match Wednesday at No. 12 Penn State. The nonconference rivals face off at 7 p.m. ET. The Buckeyes return to St. John Arena, Feb. 9, and kick off a five-match homestand starting with Saint Francis. The match is slated for 4 p.m. ET and a post-match clinic for kids eight grade and younger is available. Visit http://go.osu.edu/14MVBClinic for more details.