March 14, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 9 Ohio State men's volleyball team is set to host non-conference rival No. 13 Penn State Saturday in St. John Arena. The teams face for the third time this season at 7 p.m. ET and admission is free.
Saturday, March 16, 7 p.m. ET
No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes (14-3) vs. No. 13 Penn State Nittany Lions (14-5)
Saturday's match vs. Penn State marks one of the many Centennial Celebrations the Ohio State Department of Athletics is hosting this season. The event commemorates the 100th year as an athletics department and a member of the Big Ten conference. Click HERE for more on Ohio State's Centennial Celebration.
RECAP: GRAND CANYON
The Buckeyes returned to their winning ways, picking up a pair of sweeps at MIVA opponent Grand Canyon this past weekend. Ohio State opened with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 26-24) win Friday and followed with another three-set victory (25-21, 25-14, 25-15) Saturday in Phoenix.
Three Buckeyes finished with 24 kills in Michael Henchy, Andrew Lutz and Chen Levitan. Henchy totaled 16 kills in Friday's win to lead all student-athletes, while Levitan had a match-high 15 kills Saturday. Henchy tied a career-best Saturday with three service aces.
Defensively, libero Brennan Anderson totaled 24 digs, including a 15-dig performance Friday. Senior Grayson Overman tied a career-high Friday with three solo blocks and finished with seven blocks (4s,3a) on the weekend.
IN THE POLLS
The Buckeyes hold on to No. 9 in this week's AVCA Division I-II Men's Top 15 poll, but are ranked seventh in the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 poll. Conference rival Lewis is No. 7 in the AVCA poll, while Loyola-Chicago and Ball State are receiving votes.
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 10.89 per set and are second in assists (12.49), kills (13.25) and winning percentage (.824).
Individually, sophomore libero Brennan Anderson leads all Div. I-II with a 3.33 digs per set average. Redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen is second in assists (11.29), while sophomore Michael Henchy is fourth in hitting percentage (.358).
The Ohio State defense has put up big numbers so far this season to help the team to a 14-3 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 10.39 digs per set. Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson is first in the nation with a 3.33 average and has totaled a MIVA-best 203 on the season.
The Buckeye blockers are averaging 2.40 blocks per set and rank fifth in the MIVA. Senior Grayson Overman is 14th nationally with a 1.15 average, while redshirt senior John Tholen is averaging .86 per set.
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 3.46 and 3.67 kills, respectively. Henchy has a team-high 211 kills on the season and leads the squad with 15 service aces. Lutz is second overall with 187 kills and has 10 aces. Heinen has guided the Buckeye offensive strike, dishing out 666 assists this season. Anderson leads with 203 digs and a 3.33 average.
A handful of Buckeyes have totaled double-digit figures this season. Redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz leads the squad with three double-doubles (kills/digs) and 13 matches with double-digit kills. Sophomore Michael Henchy and senior Chen Levitan each have two double-doubles (kills/digs) this year, while Henchy has 11 matches with double-digit kills.
Redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen has one double-double (assists/digs) this season and has totaled double-digit assists in all 17 matches this season. Sophomore Brennan Anderson leads the team with 11 double-digit dig performances this season.
PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
The No. 13 Penn State Nittany Lions stand at 14-5 overall and are currently in the middle of an eight match road swing. The squad is coming off a pair of losses to MIVA opponents last weekend, falling 3-2 at IPFW Friday before dropping a 3-1 match at Ball State Saturday.
Sophomore Aaron Russell leads the squad with a 3.33 kills average and 213 kills, while his brother Peter Russell is second with 169 kills this season. Redshirt freshman setter Taylor Hammond ranks third in the nation with an 11.19 assists average.
Penn State leads the series that began in 1971 with a 68-33-1 overall record. The Nittany Lions captured a 3-0 win over the Buckeyes earlier this season (Jan. 12), but Ohio State evened the series with a 3-0 win of its own at Penn State (Feb. 9).
IN THE MIVA
As a program, Ohio State holds a 386-94 overall record against MIVA competition and is 246-72 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.
AGAINST THE MIVA
Ohio State ranks first in a number of categories in MIVA-only competition. The Buckeyes are first in assists (13.00) and kills (13.93) and are second in digs (11.11). The squad also ranks third in hitting percentage (.283), blocks (2.54) and opponent hitting percentage (.239) and are fifth in aces (.84)
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.
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 576-300 overall at Ohio State and boasts a 246-72 record against MIVA opponents.
Ohio State takes to the road for a pair of MIVA matches March 22-23. The Buckeyes open with a 7:30 p.m. ET match at Ball State in Muncie, Ind., and follows with a 7 p.m. ET match at IPFW in Fort Wayne.