Ohio State men’s head coach Pete Hanson talked with VolleyMob following their 3-1 win over the Hawks of Quincy University on April 8. Hanson comments on their 42 winning streak ending and how it affected the team, as well as Sanil Thomas’ performance against the Hawks. With post-season play beginning, Hanson has high expectations for his team.
The Buckeyes traveled to Quincy, Illinois to face the Quincy University Hawks for their final MIVA matchup of the regular season. It was the Hawks senior day and they would not go down without a fight. However, in the end, the Buckeyes came out on top 3-1. Head coach Pete Hanson remarked that it wasn’t an easy win; he knew that they were going to come out hard and really provide a strong challenge. Sophomore setter Sanil Thomas started for the Buckeyes instead of the usual Christy Blough. Hanson noted Thomas for his performance in the game and how he effectively ran a good offense.
Late in the second set, senior opposite Miles Johnson was subbed out for senior Ryan Genn. Genn provided a spark that would cause the Buckeyes to gain momentum as they went into the third and fourth sets. Hanson had nothing but praise for Genn, stating that, “He came in and almost pulled out the second set with a nice service run and he stayed in and played well for the next two sets.”
The Buckeyes have won an impressive 32 MIVA contests in a row. Hanson also noted that it was difficult to continually get the team to compete and to not be complacent. When asked about how he was able to get the team to rebound after dropping the second set to the Hawks, he said that he challenged the guys to come out and play harder, “We are supposed to be the #2 team in the country, we aren’t supposed to let this happen. Lets go out and prove them wrong. Lets go out and play harder. And I thought out guys responded well and I am proud of the way that we finished the match.”
As the Buckeyes look to prepare for post-season play, Hanson thinks it is important to not change anything about how you prepare for matches; explaining that he asks the guys to show up to practice ready to play hard and give it their all.
OSU started the season riding a 23 match winning streak from the 2015-16 season. The Buckeyes were able to add 19 more wins to this streak to push it to 42 wins in a row. However, on March 11 when the Buckeyes hosted UC Irvine, this streak was snapped as they would lose the match 0-3.
Hanson credited Irvine for the match that they played and was grateful for the learning experience that the team was able to take away from the loss. When asked about how the team responded to the loss, Hanson said he that he didn’t really think that there was any sort of pressure on the team. “I thin that the guys did a great job of compartmentalizing each match and focusing on the opponent that was in front of them.”
Lastly, when asked about the current group of senior of the team, Hanson praised the group for the progress that he has seen each season. With an 11-16 record their freshman season, the senior have shown nothing but improvement each year. “These kids are so receptive to coaching and they want to work and they want to be good. I just told them in the locker room that it doesn’t matter what you are playing, to go through league play and win 16 games in a row, that’s pretty special. I’m really proud of these guys.”
The Buckeyes are now preparing for the first round matchup in the MIVA tournament where they will play host to the Hawks of Quincy University once again.