March 20, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 8 Ohio State men’s volleyball team travels to the state of Indiana for a pair of MIVA matches this weekend. The Buckeyes face Ball State Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET in Muncie and then take on IPFW Saturday at 7 p.m. ET in Fort Wayne.
Friday, March 22, 7:30 p.m. ET
No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-3, 7-1 MIVA) at Ball State Cardinals (12-5, 3-5 MIVA)*
Saturday, March 23, 7 p.m. ET
Buckeyes at IPFW Mastodons (9-8, 3-5 MIVA)*
RECAP: PENN STATE
The Buckeyes hosted non-conference rival Penn State Saturday night and ousted the Nittany Lions, 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-20), in St. John Arena. The meeting was the third of the season between the two squads with the Buckeyes capturing the last two matches in three sets.
Ohio State (15-3) was led by its defense, finishing with 13.0 blocks and limiting the Nittany Lions to a .168 attack percentage. Senior Grayson Overman finished with a season-high eight blocks and tied a career-high with three solo blocks. Michael Henchy and Andrew Lutz had four block assists, while John Tholen and Peter Heinen had three blocks apiece. Libero Brennan Anderson picked up his 12th double-digit dig match with 10.
Offensively, the Buckeyes finished with a .478 hitting percentage, marking a season-high as a team. Lutz finished with a team-best 12 kills and notched a .478 attack percentage, while Henchy and senior Chen Levitan each had 10 kills. Henchy added two service aces in win.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State moved up a spot and is the eighth-ranked team in this week’s AVCA Division I-II Men’s Top 15 poll, but is ranked sixth in the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 poll. Conference rival Lewis is No. 7 in the AVCA poll, while Loyola-Chicago No. 14.
Entering this weekend, Ohio State has six matches remaining in MIVA play, including four on the road. Nationally-ranked Lewis is first in the conference with an 8-1 league record, while the Buckeyes are second at 7-1. Loyola-Chicago is third at 4-3 and Grand Canyon rounds out the Top 5 at 5-5.
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) and hitting percentage (.283). The squad also ranks third in 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 (11.75) and digs (3.36), respectively. Opposite Andrew Lutz is second in kills (3.85) and in points (4.27), while middle blockers Grayson Overman (.464) and John Tholen (.430) are third and fourth in hitting percentage.
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 are tied for first in winning percentage (.833) and are second in assists (12.47), kills (13.22) and digs (10.78).
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 (11.31), while sophomore Michael Henchy is fourth in hitting percentage (.362).
The Ohio State defense has put up big numbers so far this season to help the team to a 15-3 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 second in NCAA Div. I-II, averaging 10.78 digs per set. Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson is first in the nation with a 3.33 average and has totaled a MIVA-best 213 on the season.
The Buckeye blockers are averaging 2.49 blocks per set and rank fourth in the MIVA. Senior Grayson Overman is 13th nationally with a 1.22 average, while redshirt senior John Tholen is averaging .89 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 3.45 and 3.69 kills, respectively. Henchy has a team-high 221 kills on the season and leads the squad with 17 service aces. Lutz is second overall with 188 kills and has 10 aces. Heinen has guided the Buckeye offensive strike, dishing out 701 assists this season. Anderson leads with 213 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 14 matches with double-digit kills. Sophomore Michael Henchy and senior Chen Levitan each have two double-doubles (kills/digs) this year, while Henchy has 12 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 18 matches this season. Sophomore Brennan Anderson leads the team with 12 double-digit dig performances this season.
BALL STATE CARDINALS
The Ball State Cardinals hold a 12-5 overall record and are 3-5 in conference play. The Cardinals are coming off a 2-0 weekend, sweeping both Belmont Abbey and King College in three sets. Ball State is on a four-match winning streak and last lost to Loyola-Chicago in three sets back in February to end a five-match losing streak.
Senior Greg Herceg leads the MIVA in kills with a 3.84 average and junior Matt Leske leads in blocks with 1.37. Junior Tommy Rouse leads the team in digs with a 2.85 average, while classmate Graham Mcilvaine has 387 assists.
The Buckeyes lead the series against the Cardinals 91-78 in the oldest series in Ohio State history. The Buckeyes took on Ball State earlier this season in St. John Arena and beat the Cardinals, 3-1 (28-26, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23). Ball State will play IPFW Thursday before taking on the Buckeyes.
The Mastodons are 9-8 overall and 3-5 in the MIVA. IPFW is coming off of a 1-1 weekend, beating George Mason 3-2 before falling to No. 3 Long Beach State in three sets at the Long Beach State Active Ankle Tournament, March 14-16.
Junior Eddie Rivera leads the team in kills with 211, while he and sophomore Kevin Villela are tied in service aces with 18. Sophomore Omar Rivera has 9.87 assist average and classmate Brian Saunders has 44 blocks (4s, 40a).
Ohio State leads the series with the Mastodons 69-33 and is currently on an 11-match winning streak over IPFW. The two squads met earlier in the season in St John Arena with the Buckeyes winning 3-1 (29-31, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23). The Mastodons will take on Ball State Thursday before playing the Buckeyes Saturday.
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 577-300 overall at Ohio State and boasts a 246-72 record against MIVA opponents.
Ohio State returns to St. John Arena for a pair of non-conference matches March 29-30. The Buckeyes host Mount Olive Friday and Lees-McRae Saturday with both matches beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
My Gameday - Nicolas Szerszen