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January 26, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sixth-ranked Ohio State (2-2 overall, 1-0 Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) faces Mercyhurst (3-1, 0-1) and Indiana-Purdue (2-0, 2-0) in MIVA matches this week.

MERCYHURST UPDATE

The Lakers won all three matches last weekend in the Mercyhurst Invitational. They defeated Juniata 3-2 (11-15, 16-17, 15-5, 15-13, 15-13), St. Francis 3-0 (15-1, 16-14, 15-6) and Tri-State 3-1 (15-11, 15-4, 11-15, 15-7). Matt Tamborino of the Lakers was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. He is the team leader in blocks with 26 (1.73 per game) while Jim Zorn has the top kills per game average at 4.10 on 41 kills.

INDIANA-PURDUE UPDATE

The Mastodons defeated Clarke College 3-0 and Loyola-Chicago 3-1 (15-11, 16-14, 13-15, 15-5). Against Loyola, Hector Soto had a match-high 26 kills while setter Chris Gisslen picked up 76 assists, also a match high.

OHIO STATE UPDATE

The Buckeyes hosted Ball State last Thursday, defeating the Cardinals 3-0 (15-12, 15-2, 15-12). OSU’s Rene’ Esteves scored a match-high 11 kills with first-time starter Pieter Olree adding 10. Setter Angel Aja had a match-high seven assist blocks to go with his 43 assists in the match. The Buckeyes hit .280 for the match with Esteves having a match-high .625. Ball State hit .087. OSU had the edge in blocking, 16 to six, in digs, 22 to 15 and a four to two margin in ace serves.

OSU LAST YEAR VS. MERCYHURST

Ohio State won both matches last season against the Lakers. In Columbus, OSU won 3-0 (15-5, 15-13, 17-15). Jeff Koterba had a team-high 18 kills with Rene’ Esteves adding 17. Jim Zorn had a match-high 22 kills for the Lakers. The Buckeyes won in four games (14-16, 15-7, 15-9, 15-6) at Mercyhurst. Esteves had a match-high 26 kills with Koterba adding 18. Laker Adam Tokash had a team high 21 kills with Matt Tamborino adding 13.

OSU LAST YEAR VS. INDIANA-PURDUE

The Buckeyes won twice last season against the Mastodons. OSU won 3-1 (15-9, 15-9, 11-15, 16-14) in Columbus. Jeff Koterba scored a team high 21 kills with Phil Kerewich adding 18 kills and 13 digs. IPFW’s Hector Soto had a match-high 36 kills. OSU rallied from a 2-1 IPFW lead to win 3-2 (15-3, 13-15, 12-15, 15-5, 15-12) in Fort Wayne. Kerewich had 21 kills and 15 digs for OSU with Rene’ Esteves adding 16 kills. Soto again had a big game with 33 kills with Javier Escobar adding 15.

BUCKEYES RANKED SIXTH IN AVCA POLL

In the first USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 15 Poll released, Ohio State is ranked sixth. The Buckeyes finished the 1998 season ranked sixth after reaching the No. 2 spot near the end of the season. Volleyball Magazine ranks Ohio State eighth this week after having the Buckeyes ranked fifth in its preseason poll.

AJA HAS BLOCK HIGH

Angel Aja posted seven block assists against Ball State last week for a season high. His career high is nine at Indiana-Purdue in 1997. Aja has had five or more blocks in his last three matches. He is tied for second on the team in total blocks with 20 (one solo and 19 assists). He has a 1.33 blocks per game average.

BLOCK ASSAULT CONTINUES

Rene’ Esteves (5) and Colin McMillan (2) combined for seven of OSU’s 28 assists blocks against Ball State last week. On the season Esteves has 26 (7-19) total blocks with McMillan adding 20 (1-19). Both players have 254 career total blocks, both with 45 solos and 209 assist blocks. They are within 10 total blocks of Tom Hoff (’92-93) who ranks fifth with 264 on OSU’s career list. The duo are within seven assist blocks of Hoff who ranks fifth with 216 on the career list.

KEREWICH HELPS ALSO

Phil Kerewich also help provide part of OSU’s big block as he had one solo and four assist blocks against Ball State. The four assist and five total blocks were season highs for Kerewich. OSU’s lone senior also had eight kills, four digs and one ace serve in the match against the Cardinals.

OLREE STARTS, PRODUCES

Pieter Olree, in the first start of his career, picked up 10 kills and five (2-3) total blocks against Ball State. The block total were all career highs, while the 10 kills were his second consecutive match with double figure kills. He scored a career high 31 kills in a five-game loss to Brigham Young earlier.

LEHMAN OFF THE BENCH AGAIN

Greg Lehman collected nine kills, two assist blocks and two ace serves in action off the bench last week against Ball State. He posted a career-high 33 kills two weeks ago in the second Brigham Young match.

OSU HAS BEST HITTING GAME

The Buckeyes produced its best hitting game of the season against Ball State. OSU hit .550 in game two, a 15-2 Buckeye win. Ohio State had only two errors in 20 attempts while producing 13 kills in the game. OSU’s previous high was .455 in game three of the second Brigham Young match when the Buckeyes hit .455 (36-6-66).

HILL IN RELIEF

Todd Hill saw action against Ball State for the ailing Colin McMillan. Hill had five kills and one error in six attempts against the Cardinals and picked up two digs and five assist blocks. His five kills equalled his career high while the five assist blocks set career high for assist and total blocks.

HEAD COACH PETE HANSON

In his 15th year at Ohio State, Pete Hanson has put together one of the top men’s volleyball teams in the country. Ranked second in the country in the latter stages of the season, his squad finished sixth in the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Poll. They were also honored as the top team in the final regular season Volleyball Magazine Poll. That magazine honored Hanson as the Coach of the Year for his 25-2 season and MIVA regular season championship.

Hanson has a 16-year career record of 278-201 (.580) and is 264-189 (.583) in his 15-year tenure with the Buckeyes. His squads have won six MIVA championships and made three NCAA tournament appearances. Hanson has been named the MIVA Coach of the Year four times including last season.

UPCOMING MATCHES

OSU travels to Ball State on Thur., Feb. 4 (7 p.m.) and then returns home to face Loyola-Chicago on Fri., Feb. 7 (7 p.m.) Loyola ended the Buckeyes’ 22-match winning streak last season in the semifinals of the MIVA Tournament.