|The No. 2 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team embarks on a pivotal road trip surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, rolling to the Windy City for a pair of Top-10 bouts involving three teams slotted atop the MIVA standings. The league-leading Buckeyes square off with 10th-ranked and 6-3 in MIVA play Loyola Thursday (March 16) night before aSaturday night showdown at No. 7 Lewis, which owns a 9-2 conference mark. Both crucial contests are slated for 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET starts.
Thursday, March 16 – Chicago, Ill. (Gentile Arena)
7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET – No. 2 Ohio State (19-1, 8-0 MIVA) vs. No. 10 Loyola (11-7, 6-3 MIVA)
Video Stream: ESPN3/ESPN app
Saturday, March 18 – Romeoville, Ill. (Neil Carey Arena)
7 p.m. C/8 p.m. ET – No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 7 Lewis (16-5, 9-2 MIVA)
Video Stream: GLVC Sports Network
Complete Match Notes
• 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
• Ohio State has recorded 18 straight wins in true road matches (last loss in an opponent’s home gym came in 2015)
• The Buckeyes are also currently riding a 23-match winning streak versus MIVA opponents
Pete Hanson has roamed the sideline as Ohio State men’s volleyball head coach for more than three decades and Saturday night vs. Lewis (March 18) will be his 1,000th career match as the Buckeye leader. In 998 contests, Hanson owns an overall winning percentage of .665 (664-334) which includes a 288-90 (.762) ledger in MIVA play. The four-time National Coach of the Year has guided OSU to a pair of NCAA titles, 25 MIVA regular season championships and 15 MIVA Tournament trophies while mentoring 45 All-Americans since taking over the helm in 1985.
HISTORY WITH THE RAMBLERS AND FLYERS
The Buckeyes notched their third consecutive sweep over Loyola earlier this season (Feb. 11) and own a 34-19 advantage in the all-time series which started in 1996. The Ramblers hold a 13-10 edge in Chicago, however. Ohio State has been facing Lewis since 1994, building a 32-10 upper hand overall including a four-set win on Feb. 9 and the last four in a row.
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.
Senior libero Gabriel Domecus surpassed Conor Martin (2005-08) lastt weekend for the second most career digs (754) in school history. Mik Berzins (2009-12) ranks first all-time owning 902 career digs.
CHAMPIONSHIP TICKETS ON SALE NOW
All-session tickets for the 2017 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship are now on sale. Ohio’s capital city has laid claim to the title of ‘Volleyball Capital of the Midwest,’ becoming the first site in NCAA history to host both the women’s and men’s collegiate national championship in the same academic year in addition to a long history of hosting amateur volleyball events. The NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship was held Dec. 15-17, 2016 downtown at Nationwide Arena with the men’s trophy being awarded May 4-6, 2017 inside St. John Arena.
Ohio State not only owns the country’s best win-lose percentage (.950; 19-1), but is slotted highly in nearly every statistical category as well. The Buckeyes rank second nationally in hitting percentage (.372) and aces (1.86/set) while also slotted Top-10 with 13.56 kills/set (4th), 12.56 assists/set (4th), 2.51 blocks/set (5th) and an opponent hitting percentage of .202 (7th).
Individually, four Buckeyes rank Top-15 in an NCAA statistical category:
• Nicolas Szerszen | .67 aces/set (1st), 4.82 points/set (6th), 3.93 kills/set (10th), .387 hitting percentage (13th)
• Christy Blough | 10.82 assists/set (3rd)
• Miles Johnson | 4.95 points/set (5th), 4.04 kill/set (7th), .41 aces/set (14th), .371 hitting percentage (14th)
• Blake Leeson | 1.03 blocks/set (15th)
News courtesy of Ohio State Athletics.