April 3, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the No. 11 Ohio State men's volleyball team takes to the road for a pair of anticipated MIVA matches. The Buckeyes face MIVA leader No. 9 Lewis Thursday in Romeoville, Ill., and follow with a match Saturday at second place and No. 13 Loyola-Chicago.
Thursday, April 4, 8 p.m. ET (Lakeshore Public TV)
No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes (17-5, 7-3 MIVA) at No. 9 Lewis Flyers (18-7, 9-2 MIVA)
Saturday, April 6, 5 p.m. ET
Buckeyes at No. 13 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (17-8, 8-3 MIVA)
LIVE STATS (Saturday)
Ohio State has four matches remaining in MIVA play, including two on the road this week. Nationally-ranked Lewis is first in the conference with a 9-2 league record, while the No. 13 Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago hold a game advantage over Ohio State for second place at 8-3. The Buckeyes stand at 7-3, while No. 15 Ball State is fourth at 5-5.
RECAP: MOUNT OLIVE & LEES-MCRAE
The No.11 Buckeyes ended the weekend 2-0, topping both Mount Olive and Lees-McRae in non-conference play at St. John Arena. Ohio State swept Mount Olive in three sets (25-25, 25-23, 25-17) and followed with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 25-23, 25-20) win over Lees-McRae. A total of 18 Buckeyes saw playing time this weekend with everyone contributing to the 2-0 finish.
Sophomore outside hitter Michael Henchy led the Buckeyes offensively, ending the weekend with 19 kills and senior outside hitter Nick Gibson totaled 16. Redshirt sophomore setter Peter Heinen had 44 assists followed by senior Kyle Lawrence with 40.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State remains at 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 (13) and Ball State (15).
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 is among the Top 3 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 third in kills (13.03), third in assists (12.29) and fourth in digs (10.16).
Individually, sophomore libero Brennan Anderson leads all Div. I-II with a 3.26 digs per set average. Redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen third in assists (11.19), while sophomore Michael Henchy is tenth in hitting percentage (.355).
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 3.55 kills, respectively. Henchy has a team-high 263 kills on the season and leads the squad with 17 service aces. Lutz is second overall with 234 kills. Heinen has guided the Buckeye offensive strike, dishing out 828 assists this season. Anderson leads with 248 digs and a 3.26 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 14 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 22 matches this season. Sophomore Brennan Anderson leads the team with 14 double-digit dig performances this season.
Sixteen Buckeyes were honored Monday at the 46th Annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner in the Ohio Union as each was named an Ohio State Scholar-Athletes for the 2012-13 school year. A total of 511 Ohio State student-athletes were recognized at the banquet.
Redshirt senior John Tholen is a five-time Scholar-Athlete, while seniors Nick Gibson, Derek Kues and Grayson Overman have earned the award four times. Other recipients include Danny Baker, Aidan Crockett, Driss Guessous, Peter Heinen, Michael Henchy, Shawn Herron, Alex Judkins, Chen Levitan, Jonathan Newton, Michael Piechowski, Mike Stefani and Mitch Vallis.
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. Each member institution in the conference gives the award annually to the male and female athletes in the graduating class who have attained the greatest proficiency in both academics and athletics. The Big Ten Conference office established the award in 1914 for men and an additional award for the top female was instituted in 1982.
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.
The No.9 Lewis Flyers hold an 18-7 overall record and are 9-2 in the MIVA to lead the league. The Flyers are on a two-match winning streak, beating both Quincy and Lees-McRae in three sets last week.
Redshirt sophomore Greg Powell leads the conference in kills per set and kills, averaging 3.72 kills and having 335 kills overall. Redshirt senior Jay Petty has 33 service aces and freshman Bobby Walsh has 112 blocks (3s, 109a). Redshirt sophomore Eric Butch has 161 digs, while redshirt junior BJ Boldog averages 10.30 assists.
The Buckeyes lead the series between the Flyers 27-16. The two squads met earlier this season in Columbus with Lewis coming away with a three-set victory.
The No.13 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers are 17-8 overall and 8-3 in conference play. The Ramblers are coming off a 2-0 weekend, beating Grand Canyon twice in the yearly series against the Antelopes. The Ramblers are on a seven-match winning streak and last lost to the Buckeyes March 1.
Redshirt Joseph Smalzer leads the conference in service aces per set (.61) and is second overall in kills (3.70). Redshirt junior Eric Daliege leads the team in blocks with 100 (17s,83a) and redshirt junior Peter Jasaitis has 183 digs.
The Buckeyes lead the series between the Ramblers 31-13. The two teams met earlier in the season, ending in a 3-2 (25-16, 25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13) win for Ohio State.
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 579-302 overall at Ohio State and boasts a 246-74 record against MIVA opponents.
Ohio State closes out the regular season hosting MIVA opponent Quincy April 12-13. Both matches start at 7 p.m. ET and Saturday's match will serve as senior night, honoring the squad's seven senior members.
My Gameday - Nicolas Szerszen