March 22, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team takes on two more MIVA opponents this week, playing host to the Fort Wayne Mastodons and No. 11 Ball State Cardinals on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Both conference clashes are set for 7 p.m. ET starts.
Pete Hanson has roamed the sideline as Ohio State men’s volleyball head coach for more than three decades and last Saturday night vs. Lewis (March 18) was his 1,000th career match as the Buckeye leader. In 1,000 contests, Hanson owns an overall winning percentage of .666 (666-334) which includes a 290-90 (.763) ledger in MIVA play. The four-time National Coach of the Year has guided OSU to a pair of NCAA titles, 16 MIVA regular season championships and 11 MIVA Tournament trophies.
The NCAA released the first national Rating Percentage Index (RPI) rankings of the season on Monday (March 20) and Ohio State is slotted at the top. The Buckeyes are joined by four MPSF schools inside the Top-5, followed in order by BYU, Long Beach State, Hawaii and UC Irvine.
MIVA MAGIC NUMBER DOWN TO ‘5’
The Buckeyes are in search of their conference-best 26th Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season title. With six league matches to go, Ohio State owns a three-game lead in the loss column and the team’s magic number to capture the ’17 conference crown is down to ‘5.’
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 20 straight wins in true road matches (last loss in an opponent’s home gym came in 2015)
The Buckeyes are also currently riding a 25-match winning streak versus MIVA opponents
HISTORY WITH THE MASTODONS AND CARDINALS
Ohio State has squared off with Ball State more than any other opponent in program history. The Buckeyes and Cardinals have met up 178 times since 1968 with OSU owning a 95-83 advantage in the all-time series. Ohio State has a long history with Fort Wayne (formerly known as IPFW) as well, matching up with the Mastodons on 112 occasions with a 75-37 edge. The Buckeyes have topped Fort Wayne six straight times.
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.
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 (.955; 21-1), but is slotted highly in nearly every statistical category as well. The Buckeyes rank second nationally in hitting percentage (.365) and aces (1.83/set) while also slotted Top-10 with 13.36 kills/set (4th), 12.40 assists/set (4th), 2.45 blocks/set (8th) and an opponent hitting percentage of .204 (6th).
Individually, three Buckeyes rank Top-20 in an NCAA statistical category:
Nicolas Szerszen | .64 aces/set (3rd), 4.74 points/set (7th), 3.88 kills/set (9th), .383 hitting percentage (16th)
Christy Blough | 10.65 assists/set (4th)
Miles Johnson | 4.88 points/set (5th), 3.97 kill/set (7th), .43 aces/set (14th), .354 hitting percentage (19th)