The No. 2 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team puts the 2017 regular season to bed this weekend, competing at Lindenwood and Quincy (Apr. 7-8) in the final postseason preparations. Both conference contests are slated for 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET starts.
Friday, April 7 – St. Charles, Mo. (Robert F. Hyland Arena)
No. 2 Ohio State (25-2, 14-0 MIVA) at Lindenwood (5-16, 4-10)
Saturday, April 8 – Quincy, Ill. (Pepsi Arena)
No. 2 Ohio State at Quincy (7-19, 2-12)
Video Stream: GLVC Sports Network (free)
The Buckeyes were crowned Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) regular season champions last week after sweeping McKendree at home. It marks Ohio State’s second straight conference title and league-best 26th all-time (Ball State ranks second with 21 MIVA regular season championships). With the MIVA Tournament top seed clinched, the Buckeyes venture to Lindenwood and Quincy looking to become just the second team in the last 25 years to record an undefeated MIVA slate (Loyola went 14-0 in 2014).
Ohio State has won 29 consecutive matches versus MIVA opponents.
POSTSEASON PLAY COMING TO ST. JOHN ARENA
Following Saturday evening’s match at Quincy, the Buckeyes will not leave the friendly confines of St. John Arena for the remainder of the season. As No. 1 seed for the upcoming conference tournament, Ohio State has earned the right to host each of its matches as far as they advance in the MIVA bracket before potentially playing in front of the home crowd as the host site for the 2017 NCAA National Men’s Collegiate Volleyball Championship (May 4, 6).
HISTORY WITH THE LIONS AND HAWKS
Ohio State owns a 52-2 stronghold in the all-time series against Quincy, dropping only 15 sets in 54 meetings dating back to the original clash back in 1993. The Lindenwood ledger is much shorter, but no less dominated by the Buckeyes. Ohio State has won all nine previous matches versus the Lions.
Four different Buckeyes are the NCAA’s active career leader in a major statistical category. No active D I-II player has more career kills than Miles Johnson, more assists than Christy Blough, more digs than Gabriel Domecus and more aces than Nicolas Szerszen.
TOP OF THE HEAP
Ohio State was positioned atop the AVCA Coaches Poll for 11 consecutive weeks (2016 final poll through March 6, 2017). That stretch marked just the seventh time since 1986, when the AVCA first released a weekly poll, in which a team has manned the top spot for 11 weeks in a row. The Buckeyes returned to No. 1 for two weeks (March 27, April 3) before dropping back to No. 2 on Monday.
Pete Hanson has roamed the sideline as Ohio State men’s volleyball head coach for more than three decades and March 18 at Lewis was his 1,000th career match as the Buckeye leader. In 1,005 contests, Hanson owns an overall winning percentage of .667 (670-335) which included a 294-90 (.766) ledger in MIVA play. The four-time National Coach of the Year has guided OSU to a pair of NCAA titles, 17 MIVA regular season championships and 11 MIVA Tournament trophies.
• Ohio State registered a 42-match winning streak from Feb. 6, 2016 through March 10, 2017 (398 days)
• Marks the longest winning streak in OSU Athletics history for teams competing in head-to-head competition
• Also represents the MIVA’s all-time best (previous: Loyola – 40 matches in 2014-15)
• Ohio State won 126 of 152 sets (83%) during the victorious stretch
• The streak included six wins over Top-5 opponents and 18 against teams ranked inside the Top-12
• UCLA set the all-time record of 47 straight in both 1979-80 and 1983-85
• OSU also registered a streak of 20 straight wins in true road matches from 2015 until Tuesday’s loss at PSU
Ohio State not only owns the country’s best win-loss percentage (.926; 25-2), but is also slotted highly in nearly every statistical category as well. The Buckeyes rank second nationally in hitting percentage (.362) and aces (1.92/set) while also slotted Top-10 with a .200 opponent hitting percentage (5th), 12.26 assists/set (5th), 13.16 kills/set (5th) and 2.38 blocks/set (10th).
Individually, four Buckeyes rank Top-25 in an NCAA statistical category:
Nicolas Szerszen | .66 aces/set (1st), 4.62 points/set (8th), 3.73 kills/set (9th), .387 hitting percentage (12th)
Miles Johnson | 4.91 points/set (4th), 4.02 kills/set (7th), .43 aces/set (13th), .360 hitting percentage (16th)
Christy Blough | 10.49 assists/set (4th)
Blake Leeson | .99 blocks/set (23rd)
News courtesy of Ohio State Athletics.