COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4 seed Ohio State (22-7 overall) men’s volleyball team will face host and top-seeded Stanford (22-6) in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship at 11 p.m. ET Thursday, May 6 at Maples Pavilion. The Ohio State-Stanford match will be carried live on ESPNU. The semifinal winners will advance to the championship match at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, May 8. That match will be carried live by ESPN2 and ESPN360.com.
Each squad had a practice session in Maples Pavilion today and faced the media in a press conference. For Ohio State, head coach Pete Hanson and players Steven Kehoe, John Klanac and Ted Schoenfeldt faced the media earlier today.
Pre-Match National Semifinal Press Conference
Ohio State – May 5, 2010
OSU Head Coach Pete Hanson
We’re really excited to be here. It’s our third NCAA tournament in a row. Hopefully that will bode well for the guys in terms of just being relaxed and playing the type of volleyball we’ve been playing. We know we’ve drawn an exceptionally tough opponent, playing on their home floor competing for a national championship. I think this team is ready and I’m looking forward to a good quality match on Thursday.
“Both Steven [Kehoe] and Shawn [Sangrey] are Second Team All-Americans have had a great year. I think each year they’ve progressed with their game. Steven has really just solidified his role as the team leader and the quarterback of our offense. He’s done a great job working with Coach Byron and our offensive game plans. He spends a lot of time each day understanding the position and understanding the nuances of the position. Shawn Sangrey has really blossomed the last two months of our season, and I think a lot of that can be attributed to Steven Kehoe. It’s just been a real nice thing to see those two guys. We’ve had some other guys that have really stepped up in the last month and a half, and those are Ted Schoenfeldt and John Klanac. It’s really been a team thing that has gotten us through the last month and a half and through this last half of the season.”
Steven Kehoe, Redshirt Junior Setter
“I think [men’s volleyball] is a growing sport, and I think nationwide it’s growing. That’s our goal, not only at the lower level but also at the collegiate level. I think you’ll see that a lot of athletes come from the Midwest and the East Coast. We have players from California and you’ll see a lot of players from the Midwest play in California for college ball. There’s really a mix, wherever you go. It’s always a goal to build up a program at a younger age so that they can be more plentiful at the collegiate level as well.
“I’ve trained in Lake Placid with some of the guys like Kavika [Shoji] and Spencer [McLachlin] with the junior national team. I don’t think it makes a big difference [in terms of preparation]. We’ve done plenty of scouting and they’ve done plenty of scouting on us. I think if anything it helps the sport that we’re friends and that we can compete.”
John Klanac, Redshirt Junior Outside Hitter
“I think more than anything it’s been our core group of guys that have been playing together. Me, Ted, and Steven, we’ve been playing together for four years. Going through two Final Fours, going through every year you learn more about that person every time. It’s definitely easier playing with these guys than with a freshman or someone coming in.”
Ted Schoenfeldt, Senior Opposite Hitter
“I think [having more postseason experience than Stanford] is going to work to our advantage. I think a lot of teams come in to the Final Four really excited just to be there, not really knowing what the atmosphere is going to be like. Even though Stanford is playing on its home court, it’s a totally different atmosphere than what they’re used to during the season, so I think we’ll be able to use that to our advantage.”