April 4, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 8/10 Ohio State men’s volleyball team continues its play at home as the squad host MIVA opponent Grand Canyon this week. The Buckeyes and the ‘Lopes open with a 7 p.m. ET match Thursday and follow with another 7 p.m. ET match Friday in St. John Arena.
No. 8/10 Ohio State Buckeyes (16-8, 6-3 MIVA) vs. Grand Canyon ‘Lopes (15-12, 5-3 MIVA)
Thursday, April 5 – 7 p.m. ET
Friday, April 6 – 7 p.m. ET
Live stats: OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Live video: BTN.com (Thursday); OhioStateBuckeyes.com (Friday)
Live audio: OhioStateSports.net (Friday)
Following a pair of three-set wins last weekend, the Buckeyes surged from fourth to first in the MIVA standings with a 6-3 conference record. Loyola-Chicago is second at 7-4, while Lewis and Grand Canyon are tied for third at 5-3 with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
CONFERENCE WEEKLY HONORS
Senior Shawn Sangrey and junior Grayson Overman were honored by the MIVA this week for their performances against Loyola-Chicago and Lewis last weekend. Sangrey picked up his fourth MIVA Offensive Player of the Week honor this season, while Overman was named Defensive Player of the Week for the first time this year.
Sangrey averaged 5.50 kills per set and 6.25 points per set to up his season average to 4.85 and 5.48, respectively. Overman led all Buckeyes with a 1.33 blocks per set average to move him into first vs. MIVA opponents with a 1.57 average.
LAST TIME OUT: LOYOLA-CHICAGO & LEWIS
The No. 10 Buckeyes hosted MIVA-title contenders Loyola-Chicago and Lewis last weekend in St. John Arena in a pair of crucial conference matches. Ohio State opened with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-23) win over the Ramblers Friday live on BTN and followed with another 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-22) victory over then-No. 6 Lewis Saturday. The weekend also served as the team’s Alumni Weekend, hosting over 30 former Buckeyes.
Senior Shawn Sangrey led all attackers with 33 total kills on the weekend, while classmate Mik Berzins added 21 kills. Sangrey also had 14 digs and four service aces of six sets played. Freshman Michael Henchy had a solid weekend, totaling 19 kills and 10 digs with six blocks. Grayson Overman had 15 total blocks, while libero Michael Piechowski notched 16 digs.
AMONG THE NATIONS BEST
Senior Shawn Sangrey continues to be one of the top attackers in the country as he leads the nation in kills per set and total kills this year. The opposite from Columbia, Pa., has 427 kills overall for a 4.85 set average. Sangrey is the only student-athlete in the nation to reach the 400-kill mark so far this season. Sangrey is also 24th nationally with a 0.30 aces per set average and 40th in digs per set (1.78).
Middle blockers Grayson Overman and John Tholen are among the nation’s best blockers. Overman is 11th with a 1.21 blocks per set average, while Tholen is 50th (0.88). Senior Mik Berzins is 28th in digs per set with 1.98, while redshirt freshman Peter Heinen is 14th in the country with a 10.38 assists per set average.
IN THE NATIONAL POLLS
The Buckeyes hold on to the No. 10 spot nationally in the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Top 15 Poll and moved up to No. 8 in the Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll. MIVA opponent Lewis is ranked ninth by the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine. Loyola-Chicago moved back into the Top 15, ranking No. 15 by the AVCA.
Opposite Shawn Sangrey leads the MIVA in both kills and points per set, averaging 4.85 and 5.48, respectively. In conference-only matches, Sangrey is tied for first with a 4.69 kills-per-set average and is first averaging 5.38 points per set. He also is among the league’s best overall in attack percentage (.272), aces (0.30) and digs (1.78).
Junior Grayson Overman is second overall in blocks (1.21) and seventh in attack percentage (.297), while Peter Heinen is sixth in assists (10.38) and senior Mik Berzins is seventh in digs (1.98). Redshirt junior John Tholen is tenth overall in blocks (0.88).
GRAND CANYON ‘LOPES
The Grand Canyon ‘Lopes (15-12, 5-3 MIVA) come to Columbus following a series split with Lindenwood at home last weekend. GCU opened with a 3-0 sweep of Lindenwood, but were bested in four sets the next day.
The Buckeyes are a perfect 4-0 versus Grand Canyon as the ‘Lopes joined the MIVA at the start of the 2010 season. Ohio State has not dropped a set to GCU, defeating the ‘Lopes 3-0 in all four matches.
Sophomore Ben Ponnet leads GCU offensively, averaging 3.78 kills per set. That average is 10th nationally and fourth in the MIVA. Sophomore setter Keith Smith is eighth in the nation with a 10.69 assists per set average, while freshman Ryan Mather is 13th nationally with a 1.18 blocking average. Junior libero Trent Bruns is sixth in the nation and third in the MIVA with a 2.47 digs average.
The Buckeyes close out their home schedule, April 13, with a 7 p.m. ET match vs. MIVA opponent IPFW in St. John Arena. Ohio State will honor its seniors that night and admission is free.