March 2, 2017

Buckeyes Back in the ‘bus Friday Night vs. Saint Francis


March 2, 2017


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 1 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team steps out of conference play this week to host a lone match versus Saint Francis University of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA). The Buckeyes and Red Flash are set to clash Friday night (March 3) at 7 p.m. ET inside St. John Arena.

Friday, March 3 – Columbus, Ohio (St. John Arena)
7 p.m. ET – No. 1 Ohio State (17-0, 8-0 MIVA) vs. Saint Francis (8-9, 4-4 EIVA)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Video Stream: Buckeye Vision Complete Match Notes 

• OSU is riding a 40-match winning streak, tied with the 2014-15 Loyola Ramblers for longest in MIVA history
• Marks the longest winning streak in OSU Athletics history for teams competing in head-to-head competition
• The Buckeyes last suffered an NCAA loss on February 6, 2016
• Ohio State has won 120 of 145 sets (83%) during the victorious stretch
• The streak includes six wins over Top-5 opponents and nearly half (18) against teams ranked inside the Top-12
• Also included in the streak are 18 straight wins in true road matches (last loss in an opponent’s gym came in ’15)
• UCLA set the all-time record of 47 straight in both 1979-80 and 1983-85

Ohio State is positioned atop the AVCA Coaches Poll for the 10th consecutive week, dating back to the final national poll of 2016. This is just the 11th time since 1986, when the AVCA first released a weekly poll, in which a team has manned the top spot for 10 weeks in a row.

The Buckeyes have downed Saint Francis in 30 of 31 previous meetings dating back to 1993. The series domination includes a 3-0 sweep earlier this season in Loretto, Pa., on Jan. 20. Ohio State has won all 18 matches inside St. John Arena and the last 11 in a row overall after the lone defeat back in 2010.

For the first time this season Ohio State ventured into a fifth set on Sunday (Feb. 26) at Grand Canyon, emerging victorious 15-11 to hand the Antelopes their second ‘L’ of the weekend. The Buckeyes overcame a 10-8 fifth-set deficit by seizing seven of the final eight rallies to keep the winning streak intact.

Pete Hanson has roamed the sideline as Ohio State men’s volleyball head coach for more than three decades and will soon coach his 1,000th career match as the Buckeye leader. In 995 contests, Hanson owns an overall winning percentage of .665 (662-333) 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, 16 MIVA regular season championships, 11 MIVA Tournament trophies since taking over the helm in 1985.

The Buckeyes received an assist from Big Ten brethren Penn State on Jan. 28 by handing Coker College its first loss of 2017, ensuring Ohio State as the country’s only remaining undefeated squad.

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 is not only 17-0 and the top-ranked team in the land, but is also slotted highly in nearly every statistical category. The Buckeyes rank second nationally in kills (13.72/set), aces (1.78/set), hitting percentage (.375) and assists (12.63/set). Ohio State ranks Top-10 in the country with 2.45 blocks/set (5th) and an opponent hitting percentage of .204 (7th) as well.

Individually, three Buckeyes rank second in an NCAA statistical category: Christy Blough (11.20 assists/set), Miles Johnson (5.07 points/set) and Nicolas Szerszen (.70 aces/set). Johnson’s 4.21 kills/set (5th) and .40 aces/set (12th), along with Szerszen’s 4.90 points/set (6th) and 3.97 kills/set (9th), are also slotted among the best in the country.

Miles Johnson surpassed Buckeye great Steve Potter (1992-95) with his 124th career service ace on Jan. 28 vs. Long Beach State, becoming Ohio State’s all-time career leader for aces. Johnson’s sole ownership of the school record lasted just 37 minutes, however, as Nicolas Szerszen also tallied his 124th ace to pull even atop the list later in that same match. Szerszen is now a few steps ahead at 145 aces while Johnson remains in the hunt with 134 aces.

The aforementioned dynamic duo does not represent the only Buckeyes chasing all-time career marks. Christy Blough, Gabriel Domecus and Driss Guessous are climbing up the school rankings as well. A comprehensive look at the `Career Records Watch’ can be found on Page 7 of the match notes.