Senior Nick Gibson
March 27, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 11 Ohio State men's volleyball team returns to historic St. John Arena for a pair of non-conference matches this weekend, hosting Conference Carolinas members Mount Olive and Lees-McRae March 29-30.
Friday, March 29, 7 p.m. ET
No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-5) vs. Mount Olive Trojans (21-4)
Saturday, March 30, 7 p.m. ET
Buckeyes vs. Lees-McRae Bobcats (16-9)
RECAP: BALL STATE & IPFW
The Buckeyes ended the weekend with a 0-2 mark on the road in MIVA play. Ohio State fell at Ball State Friday, 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-21), and followed with a 3-2 (28-26, 17-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-9) loss at IPFW Saturday.
Redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz lead the Buckeyes offensively, totaling 24 kills over eight sets played. Sophomore outside hitter Michael Henchy had 23 kills over eight sets for the team. Defensively, sophomore Brennan Anderson totaled 28 digs and middle blockers Grayson Overman and John Tholen had 12 blocks (3s,9a) and 10 blocks (1s,9a), respectively.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State dropped to No. 11 in this week's AVCA Division I-II Men's Top 15 poll and is receiving votes in the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 poll. Three other MIVA schools are ranked in the AVCA polls - Lewis (9), Loyola-Chicago (14) and Ball State (15).
B1G MEDAL OF HONOR
Redshirt senior John Tholen was named one of five finalists for the men's Big Ten Medal of Honor for Ohio State Tuesday. The recipient of the award will be announced Monday at the 2013 Ohio State Scholar-Athlete Dinner in the Ohio Union.
The two-time captain (2012, 2013) garnered All-MIVA Second Team honors and was named to the MIVA All-Tournament team last season as he helped the guide the squad to the program's sixth-straight MIVA regular season title.
Tholen has also thrived academically, collecting three Academic All-MIVA and Academic All-Big Ten honors as well as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar award in 2012. Tholen will graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering and already has a full-time engineering position lined up following graduation.
Ohio State has four matches remaining in MIVA play, including two on the road next weekend. Nationally-ranked Lewis is first in the conference with a 9-2 league record, while the Buckeyes are second at 7-3. Loyola-Chicago is third at 6-3 and Ball State and Grand Canyon round out the Top 5 at 5-5 each.
IN THE MIVA
As a program, Ohio State holds a 386-96 overall record against MIVA competition and is 246-74 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 (12.53) and kills (13.42) and are second in digs (10.56). The squad also ranks third in hitting percentage (.264) and blocks (2.67).
Individually, setter Peter Heinen and libero Brennan Anderson rank first in assists (11.44) and digs (3.39), respectively. Opposite Andrew Lutz is third in kills (3.65), while middle blocker Grayson Overman is third in hitting percentage (.444).
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 second in kills (13.04), third in assists (12.29) and fourth in digs (10.54).
Individually, sophomore libero Brennan Anderson leads all Div. I-II with a 3.35 digs per set average. Redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen third in assists (11.20), while sophomore Michael Henchy is seventh in hitting percentage (.345).
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 3.39 and 3.60 kills, respectively. Henchy has a team-high 244 kills on the season and leads the squad with 17 service aces. Lutz is second overall with 223 kills and has 10 aces. Heinen has guided the Buckeye offensive strike, dishing out 784 assists this season. Anderson leads with 241 digs and a 3.35 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 16 matches with double-digit kills. Sophomore Michael Henchy and senior Chen Levitan each have two double-doubles (kills/digs) this year, while Henchy has 13 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 20 matches this season. Sophomore Brennan Anderson leads the team with 14 double-digit dig performances this season.
MOUNT OLIVE TROJANS
The Mount Olive Trojans are 21-4 overall and 14-1 in Conference Carolinas. The Trojans are coming of a 1-1 weekend, sweeping King (Tenn) before falling to Pfeiffer, 3-1. The loss snapped a school record 15 game-winning streak and was the first loss of the season in conference play.
Senior Time Ebbecke leads the conference in blocks with 1.13 per set, while junior Angel Dache has a team best 3.40 kill average. Senior Dan Arnold has 154 digs on the season and junior Ben Casado has a 9.97 assist average.
Ohio State leads the series between the Trojans 2-0 since they began play in 2010. The Buckeyes beat Mount Olive last season, 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 26-24), in University Park, Pa.
The Lees-McRae Bobcats are 16-9 overall and 9-6 in Conference Carolinas. The Bobcats, 1-1 over the weekend, beat NJIT in five sets, but fell to George Mason in three.
Junior Jose Ribas leads the team in kills with 233, while sophomore Joshua Jones leads in blocks with 95 (15s, 80a). Junior Randy Ramirez has 21 service aces and junior Efrain Negron has 196 digs.
The Buckeyes lead the series between the Bobcats 1-0; the two squads first met in 2012, ending in a 3-0 sweep for Ohio State (25-19, 25-21, 25-18). The Bobcats are set to take on Lewis Thursday before playing the Buckeyes.
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 577-302 overall at Ohio State and boasts a 246-74 record against MIVA opponents.
Ohio State hits the road for the last time in the regular season for two important MIVA matches. The Buckeyes face conference-leading Lewis in Romeoville, Ill., April 4 at 8 p.m. ET. The squad follows with a 5 p.m. ET match at Loyola-Chicago April 6.
My Gameday - Nicolas Szerszen