No. 14 Ohio State Welcomes Grand Canyon to St. John Arena
Feb. 19, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 14 Ohio State men's volleyball team continues its five-match homestand, welcoming MIVA opponent Grand Canyon to St. John Arena for a pair of matches this weekend. The Buckeyes and the Antelopes will face off at 7 p.m. ET both Friday and Saturday night and admission is free.
Junior Michael Henchy led the Buckeyes with 11 kills and added seven digs. Redshirt freshman Driss Guessous totaled 10 kills and five blocks (1s, 4a), while redshirt junior Andrew Lutz finished with 11 kills and four blocks (2s, 2a). Freshman Miles Johnson had eight kills and four block assists for Ohio State and junior Dustan Neary chipped in five kills and three blocks.
ST. JOHN ARENA
IN THE POLLS
BUCKEYES IN THE MIVA
Under head coach Pete Hanson, Ohio State is 250-78 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.
Lutz, who hails from North Reading, Mass., has a team-best 134 kills this season and is averaging 3.62 kills per set. That average ranks third in the MIVA and 16th in all of NCAA Division I-II. Henchy, a native of Ventura, Calif., is second on the squad with 102 kills and a 2.76 average.
In MIVA-only play, Lutz and Henchy rank seventh and eighth, respectively, in kills per set. Lutz is averaging 3.36 with 47 and Henchy has a 3.21 average with 45.
IN THE MIDDLE
The duo is also doing great things offensively for Ohio State as each are among the top five in kills on the squad. Guessous is third with 87 kills on the season and a 2.35 average. His .475 attack percentage is the best in the MIVA and ranks third nationally. Neary has a .97 kills average and is hitting a solid .466 at the net.
Domecus has started in 10 of the team's 11 matches this season with six at libero. He leads the squad with 63 digs and a 1.75 average. Blough has started six matches at setter and has a team-best 199 assists with a 9.95 average. Outside hitter Johnson is fourth on the team with a 1.09 kills average and has started in six matches. He is averaging 1.38 points per set.
SCOUTING GRAND CANYON
Offensively, the `Lopes are led offensively by senior outside hitter Ben Ponnet with 162 kills and classmate setter Keith Smith with 442 assists. On defense, the Antelopes redshirt junior libero Jared Morrison leads the team with 126 digs and senior middle hitter Conner Dougherty has 39 blocks (3s, 36a).
The Buckeyes lead the series between GCU, 8-1. Grand Canyon recorded a win over Ohio State last season in the MIVA quarterfinals in St. John Arena in five sets (21-25, 25-23, 25-11, 16-25, 13-15).
HEAD COACH Pete Hanson
The Buckeyes have totaled 18 20-win seasons with Hanson and have reached the NCAA Championships 10 times. Hanson is 586-311 overall at Ohio State in his 29 seasons and boasts a 250-78 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.