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.
Friday, Feb. 21 - 7 p.m. ET
No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-6, 2-2 MIVA) vs. Grand Canyon Antelopes (6-7, 0-4 MIVA)
Saturday, Feb. 22 - 7 p.m. ET
Ohio State vs. Grand Canyon
The No. 14 Ohio State men's volleyball team dropped a 3-1 (22-25-, 25-20, 22-25, 16-25) match to No. 10 Lewis Saturday night in St. John Arena. The loss moved the Buckeyes to 5-6 overall and 2-2 in the MIVA.
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
Historic St. John Arena has been home to the Ohio State men's volleyball team since the program started in 1968. The Buckeyes have amassed a record of 486-96 in 46 years and have totaled six undefeated seasons at home.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State continues to hold the No. 14 spot in the AVCA Division I-II Coaches Top 15 poll. The team is one of four MIVA schools ranked as Loyola sits atop of the poll at No. 1, Lewis is No. 10 and Ball State stands at No. 13.
BUCKEYES IN THE MIVA
In its 46th season in the league, the Ohio State men's volleyball program has an impressive 394-100 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 250-78 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
A pair of middles in Driss Guessous and Dustan Neary has provided big numbers for the Buckeyes both defensively and offensively at the net. Guessous, a redshirt freshman from Pasadena, Calif., has a team-best 37 (11s, 26a) blocks on the season for 1.00 average that ranks fifth in the league. Neary, a junior from Ventura, Calif., is second on the team with a .69 average and has 22 (3s, 19a) blocks over 32 sets played.
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
The Grand Canyon Antelopes are 6-7 overall with a 0-4 record in the MIVA and are coached by Jeremy Price in his fourth season as head coach. Grand Canyon closed out the weekend with a 0-2 record, suffering back-to-back three-set losses to No. 1 Loyola. The two-day series began with a three-set loss Friday (25-20, 28-26, 25-22) and followed with another three-set loss Saturday (25-12, 26-24, 25-12).
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 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 586-311 overall at Ohio State in his 29 seasons and boasts a 250-78 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.
Ohio State closes out its five-match homestand hosting MIVA rival Ball State. The Buckeyes and the nationally-ranked Cardinals face off in a 7 p.m. ET match, Feb. 26, in St. John Arena. Admission is free.
MIVA Powerhouses Meet in Illinois