No. 15 Ohio State at No. 12 Ball State Sunday
March 22, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 15 Ohio State men's volleyball team travels to long-time MIVA rival No. 12 Ball State Sunday for a 4 p.m. ET match. The contest will be played in Worthen Arena and is the final meeting between the two teams this regular season.
Redshirt freshmen Driss Guessous and Alex Judkins reached career bests in the match for the Buckeyes (8-12). Guessous had a match-high 18 kills to set a new career mark, while Judkins totaled a career-high 13 kills and eight digs. Freshman Miles Johnson tied a career-best with 16 kills and added six digs.
IN THE POLLS
BUCKEYES IN THE MIVA
Under head coach Pete Hanson, Ohio State is 252-80 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.
CAREER MARKS REACHED IN CALI
Highlighting all performances was redshirt junior Andrew Lutz's offensive production against Cal State Northridge Saturday. The North Reading, Mass., product totaled a career-high 29 kills in the match and his 66 attempts also set a career mark.
Freshmen Christy Blough and Miles Johnson each had career performances on the weekend as well. Blough reached 60 assists at Long Beach State and notched the first double-double of his career against CSUN with 57 assists and 11 digs. Johnson set a career-best in digs Saturday with 12 and also picked up a double-double on the weekend with 11 kills and 11 digs against LBSU.
LUTZ ON THE ATTACK
The North Reading, Mass., product has registered 10 matches with double-digit kills, including a pair of contests this past weekend with 20 or more kills. Lutz totaled a career-high 29 kills against Cal State Northridge Saturday after having 21 kills vs. No. 2 Long Beach State Friday.
In MIVA-only play, Lutz ranks ninth with a 3.12 kills average and has 100 on the year. He has totaled four matches with double-digit kills against league opponents.
IN THE MIDDLE
The duo is also doing great things offensively for Ohio State as each are among the Top 5 in kills on the squad. Guessous is third with 196 kills on the season and a 2.65 average. His .468 attack percentage is first in the MIVA and ranks second nationally. To be ranked, a hitter must average 3.0 attempts per set. Neary has a 1.14 kills average and is hitting a solid .417 at the net.
Johnson, who hails from Carlsbad, Calif., has stepped up offensively for the Buckeyes as of late. The outside hitter has totaled six double-digit kill performances in the last eight matches to up his season average to 1.90 on the season. Johnson also ranks tied for first on the squad in service aces, having 18 overall.
Domecus has started in 19 of the team's 20 matches this season with 15 at libero. He leads the squad with 123 digs and a 1.71 average. Blough has started 14 matches at setter and has a team-best 581 assists with a 10.96 average.
SCOUTING BALL STATE
Junior libero David Ryan Vander Meer leads the MIVA in digs per set with a 2.64 average, and senior middle attacker Matt Leske leads the conference in blocks per set with 1.46. Sophomore outside attacker Marcin Niemczewski leads the team in kills with 245 and senior setter Graham McIlvaine has 666 assists.
The Buckeyes lead the storied play between the two squads 91-80. The two teams met earlier in the season and the Cardinals came away with a four set win (20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 26-24).
HEAD COACH Pete Hanson
The Buckeyes have totaled 18 20-win seasons with Hanson and have reached the NCAA Championships 10 times. Hanson is 589-316 overall at Ohio State in his 29 seasons and boasts a 252-81 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.