Ohio State Men’s Volleyball Looks To Defend National Title In 2017

  0 Carly DeMarque | December 26th, 2016 | Big Ten, College - Men's Indoor, MIVA, News

The defending men’s volleyball national champions Ohio State have been selected to the number one ranking for the start of the 2017 season.

Last season, the Buckeyes started at #6 in the preseason polls and ended up going  31-3 on the season.

Their three losses came to an exhibition match to the top-ranked Canadian squad McMaster, then #5 rank UCLA and #14 Ball State. After dropping the match to Ball State the team went on a 23 match win streak, including their run to the 2016 National Championship.

The National Title match was against BYU, where the Buckeyes dominated the match 3-0 to take the National Championship match.

The Buckeye’s look to defend their national title, starting with USC at home on January 6 at 7 PM. The team also travels to McMaster University in Ontario for an exhibition match. Last season Ohio State started their season with two matches against McMaster, losing each.

Top Returners

Christy Blough

  • Senior setter
  • 2016 season awards
    • AVCA All-America Second Team selection, All-MIVA First Team, All-MIVA Tournament Team, First Team Academic All-America
  • Ranked second nationally with 11.21 assists per set
  • Season-best assists came to loss against Ball State with 59

Gabriel Domecus

  • Senior libero
  • 2016 season awards
    • AVCA All-America Honorable Mention, Second Team All-MIVA
  • Picked up 259 digs, the fourth-highest total in school history

Miles Johnson

  • Senior opposite hitter
  • 2016 season awards
    • AVCA All-America First Team, NCAA Tournament MVP, All-MIVA First Team, All-MIVA Tournament Team
  • Posted 437 kills and .311 hitting percentage for the season
  • Season-best kills came against Penn State with 23 and a .476 hitting percentage

Nicolas Szerszen

  • Junior outside hitter
  • 2016 season awards
    • AVCA National Player of the Year (first in program history), MIVA Player of the Year, MIVA Tournament MVP, AVCA All-America First Team, All-MIVA First Team, All-NCAA Tournament Team, All-MIVA Tournament Team
  • Posted 516 kills and a .384 hitting percentage for the season
  • Season-best kills came against Long Beach State with 26 and a .435 hitting percentage


Jason Bruggemann, freshman

  • Middle Blocker
  • Prior to coming to Ohio State, Bruggemann earned Division I All-Ohio honorable mention and First Team All-Regional honors with Moeller High
  • Played club with Cincinnati Attack

Paul Henken, freshman

  • Setter
  • Led high school to two consecutive Missouri state title runs
  • Played club with High Performance

Dejon Clark, freshman

  • Outside Hitter/Opposite
  • 2016 Ohio Player of the Year runner-up, First Team All-Ohio honoree
  • Set all-time school records for both kills and aces
  • Two-time medalist as a member of the USA Volleyball Youth A-1 High Performance Team

Shawn Hughes, freshman

  • Outside Hitter
  • Three-time All-Missouri First Team, St. Louis Dispatch’s Boys Volleyball Player of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year
  • Played club for High Performance

Reese Devilbiss, freshman

  • Outside Hitter
  • AVCA First Team High School Senior All-American, four time high school state champion, All-Pennsylvania Team selection
  • Competed in the 2016 NORCECA U-21 Continental Championship as a member of the U.S. Men’s Junior Team

Tyler Atler, freshman

  • Outside Hitter
  • First Team All-California Interscholastic Federation, MVP of 2014 Junior Olympics U-16 Division – leading 949 Volleyball Club to a gold medal, 949 VC to 2015 Junior Olympics U-17 bronze medal

Andrew Hillman, freshman

  • Setter
  • AVCA First Team High School Senior All-American

Zach Yerington, redshirt freshman

  • Middle Blocker
  • Two-time All-New York, First Team All-Western New York selection
  • Played club for Eden Volleyball Club

Maxime Hervoir, junior

  • Outside Hitter
  • Competed with IUT Informatique Montpellier for two seasons
  • Competed with French National Team in 2014, two-time French Cup winner

Jake Hanes, freshman

  • Opposite
  • AVCA First Team High School Senior All-American, Daily Southtown Boys Volleyball Player of the Year

Who they lost

The team lost seniors Christian Franceschi, Peter Edwards, Alex Judkins, Marco Grasso, Matt Pohlman and freshman Kevin Sowski.

Franceschi was named to the All-MIVA First Team for the 2016 season, posting a team-best 0.44 aces per set, ranking 11th nationally.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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