March 7, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 9 Ohio State men's volleyball team continues MIVA play this weekend, traveling to Grand Canyon for a pair of matches March 8-9. The Buckeyes and the Antelopes face off at 9 p.m. ET both nights in Antelope Gym in Phoenix.
Friday, March 8, 9 p.m. ET
No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-3, 5-1 MIVA) at Grand Canyon Antelopes (12-7, 5-3 MIVA)
Saturday, March 9, 9 p.m. ET
Ohio State at Grand Canyon
RECAP: LOYOLA & LEWIS
The Buckeyes concluded last weekend with a 1-1 mark in crucial MIVA play at St. John Arena. Ohio State worked its way to a five-set win over Loyola-Chicago Friday (25-16, 25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13), but fell to Lewis in three sets Saturday (13-25, 20-25,23-25).
Redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz led the Buckeyes offensively, totaling 24 kills over eight sets played. Senior outside hitter Chen Levitan had 23 kills over eight sets for the squad. Against the Rambles Friday, senior middle blocker Grayson Overman finished with a .789 hitting percentage, having 11 kills on 13 attempts.
Defensively, sophomore Brennan Anderson had 21 digs followed by Lutz with 17 in eight sets, while Overman totaled nine blocks.
IN THE POLLS
The Buckeyes dropped two spots to No. 9 in this week's AVCA Division I-II Men's Top 15 poll after falling to now No. 8 Lewis Saturday. Ohio State holds the sixth spot in the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 poll, while Lewis is No. 10. MIVA rival Loyola-Chicago is receiving votes in the AVCA poll.
IN THE MIVA
As a program, Ohio State holds a 384-94 overall record against MIVA competition and is 244-72 under the direction of head coach Pete Hanson. The Buckeyes have captured the most MIVA titles with 24, including the last six. Ball State is second in the league with 21 conference titles and both squads are the only remaining initial teams that joined the conference when it formed in 1968.
Ohio State's balanced attack on all fronts has proven effective as the squad and individuals rank among the best in NCAA Div. I-II. The Buckeyes lead the nation in digs at 11.09 per set and are third in assists (12.36) and kills (13.09). With a 12-4 record, Ohio State's winning percentage of .800 is fourth nationally.
Individually, redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen leads the nation with an 11.26 assists average, while sophomore libero Brennan Anderson is first with a 3.25 digs average. Sophomore Michael Henchy is sixth with a .348 attack percentage and redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz is 17th with a 3.62 kills average.
The Ohio State defense has put up big numbers so far this season to help the team to an 12-3 record. The squad totaled a season-high 70 digs collectively in the 3-1 win over George mason (Feb. 2), while the team had a season-best 17.0 blocks against IPFW (Feb. 15).
The Buckeye back row ranks first in NCAA Div. I-II, averaging 11.09 digs per set. Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson is first in the nation with a 3.25 average and has totaled a MIVA-best 179 on the season.
The Buckeye blockers are averaging 2.43 blocks per set and rank fifth in the MIVA. Senior Grayson Overman is 16th nationally with a 1.15 average, while redshirt senior John Tholen is averaging .91 per set.
AGAINST THE MIVA
Ohio State ranks first in a number of categories in MIVA-only competition. The Buckeyes are first in assists (12.82), kills (13.73), and digs (11.68). The squad also ranks third in hitting percentage (.261) and blocks (2.64), fourth in opponent hitting percentage (.228) and fifth in aces (.86)
Individually, setter Peter Heinen and libero Brennan Anderson rank first in assists (11.82) and digs (3.18), respectively. Opposite Andrew Lutz is second in kills (3.80) and third in points (4.28), while middle blockers Grayson Overman (.486) and John Tholen (.405) are third and fourth in hitting percentage.
The sophomore quartet of outside hitter Michael Henchy, opposite Andrew Lutz, libero Brennan Anderson and setter Peter Heinen has put together solid numbers this season to lead the Buckeyes both offensively and defensively.
Henchy and Lutz lead the squad in kills, averaging 3.40 and 3.62 kills, respectively. Henchy has a team-high 187 kills on the season and is tied for first with 12 service aces. Lutz is second overall with 163 kills and has nine aces. Heinen has guided the Buckeye offensive strike, dishing out 597 assists this season. Anderson leads with 179 digs and a 3.25 average.
GRAND CANYON ANTELOPES
The Grand Canyon Antelopes are currently 12-7 overall and 5-3 in the MIVA. The `Lopes concluded the weekend 2-0, beating IPFW in a pair of four-set matches at home. Grand Canyon is currently on a six-match winning streak and ranked No. 3 in conference play.
Freshman Christian Ward leads the MIVA with a .420 hitting percentage, while sophomore Ryan Mather is third with a .412 percentage. Senior Trent Bruns has 144 digs and averages 2.57 per set and junior Ben Ponnet has 19 service ace.
The Buckeyes lead the series between the `Lopes 6-0 since they began play in 2010. Ohio State last played Grand Canyon in 2012 and won in four sets (25-16, 22-25, 25-19, 25-18).
HEAD COACH Pete Hanson
The Buckeyes are led by head coach Pete Hanson, who is in his 28th 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 574-300 overall at Ohio State and boasts a 244-72 record against MIVA opponents.
Ohio State returns to St. John Arena to host non-conference rival Penn State March 16. The Buckeyes and nationally-ranked Nittany Lions will face off in a 7 p.m. ET match in St. John Arena and admission is free.