No. 14 Ohio State to Face No. 12 Penn State, Saint Francis
Feb. 4, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 14 Ohio State men's volleyball team has a busy week ahead, facing a pair of non-conference rivals. The Buckeyes will travel to No. 12 Penn State Wednesday for a 7 p.m. ET match in State College. Ohio State will then to return to St. John Arena Sunday to kick off a five-match homestand, hosting Saint Francis at 4 p.m. ET.
Admission is free Sunday and post-match clinic is scheduled for kids eighth grade and younger. Space is limited and interested participants should visit http://go.osu.edu/14MVBClinic for more details.
The Buckeyes were led by junior Michael Henchy with 10 kills, adding two service aces and two blocks. Redshirt freshman Driss Guessous had six kills and hit .556 (6-1-9) for Ohio State, while redshirt junior Andrew Lutz chipped in five kills and two service aces. Redshirt junior Peter Heinen led the team with 20 assists and libero Danny Baker had six digs.
ST. JOHN ARENA
IN THE POLLS
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 11 blocks early. He is also second on the squad with a .382 attack percentage. Herron, who started the first three matches for Ohio State, sat out for a couple of weeks with an injury, but returned to action at Loyola (2/1). Following a four-block performance against the Ramblers, Herron leads the team with a 1.18 blocks average and has 13 (3s, 10a) on the year.
Freshman outside hitter Gabriel Domecus has started in seven matches and played in all eight. The Vallejo, Calif., product is second on the team with 34 digs and a 1.42 average. Classmates Miles Johnson and Christy Blough have provided the Buckeyes with depth at outside hitter and setter, respectively.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
Junior middle hitter Aaron Russell leads the EIVA with 99 kills and is averaging 3.81 kills per set. Brother Peter Russell is among the league's top hitters as well, averaging 3.00 kills per set. Redshirt sophomore setter Taylor Hammond also leads their conference in assists with 283 and a 10.88 average, while redshirt junior libero Conner Curry leads in digs with 66.
The Buckeyes trail the Nittany Lions, 34-68-1, in the series that dates back to 1971. The two squads played each other at the beginning of the season in Hawai'i and Penn State came away with a 3-0 win (26-28, 20-25, 19-25).
SCOUTING SAINT FRANCIS
Outside hitter Logan Patterson is tied for first in the EIVA in aces per set with 13 and leads the squad in kills with 64. Redshirt sophomore Mike Kresch averages 9.36 assists per set with a total of 206 and senior libero/outside hitter Lucas Behringer has 40 digs. Redshirt senior middle blocker Mark Kochan has a team-best 22 blocks (6s, 16a).
Ohio State is leading the series over the Flashes 26-1. Saint Francis last beat the Buckeyes in 2010, defeating Ohio State in four sets (22-30, 25-30, 30-22, 25-30) in Loretto, Pa.
BUCKEYES IN THE MIVA
Under head coach Pete Hanson, Ohio State is 250-77 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.
HEAD COACH PETE HANSON
The Buckeyes have totaled 18 20-win seasons with Hanson and have reached the NCAA Championships 10 times. Hanson is 585-309 overall at Ohio State in his 29 seasons and boasts a 250-77 record against MIVA opponents.
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 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.
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.