March 30, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 1 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team has its sights set on the 2017 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season championship, getting two cracks at it this weekend in hosting league foe McKendree for a pair. The Buckeyes face off against the Bearcats Friday and Saturday (March 31-Apr. 2) at 7 p.m. ET both evenings. Senior Night festivities will occur on Saturday.
MIVA MAGIC NUMBER DOWN TO ‘1’
The next Ohio State win or Lewis loss will clinch the 26th Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season championship for the Buckeyes. The next most MIVA titles all-time belongs to Ball State at 21. Ohio State has won 27 consecutive matches versus MIVA opponents.
HISTORY WITH THE BEARCATS
The Buckeyes have won all five previous meetings with McKendree over the past two seasons after the Bearcats joined the MIVA ranks in 2015.
The NCAA released the first national Rating Percentage Index (RPI) rankings of the season on March 20 and Ohio State was slotted at the top. The Buckeyes are joined by four MPSF schools inside the Top-5 this week, followed in order by Long Beach State, BYU, Hawaii and UC Irvine.
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. The Buckeyes returned to No. 1 this week (March 27).
Pete Hanson has roamed the sideline as Ohio State men’s volleyball head coach for more than three decades and March 18 at Lewis was his 1,000th career match as the Buckeye leader. In 1,003 contests, Hanson owns an overall winning percentage of .666 (668-335) which includes a 292-90 (.764) 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.
• 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
• OSU also registered a streak of 20 straight wins in true road matches from 2015 until Tuesday’s loss at PSU
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 second-best win-lose percentage (.920; 23-2), but is slotted highly in nearly every statistical category as well. The Buckeyes rank second nationally in hitting percentage (.361) and aces (1.87/set) while also slotted Top-10 with an opponent hitting percentage of .197 (4th), 13.07 kills/set (5th), 12.15 assists/set (6th) and 2.46 blocks/set (7th).
Individually, four Buckeyes rank Top-20 in an NCAA statistical category:
• Nicolas Szerszen | .64 aces/set (3rd), 4.55 points/set (9th), 3.70 kills/set (9th), .380 hitting percentage (14th)
• Christy Blough | 10.33 assists/set (7th)
• Miles Johnson | 4.74 points/set (7th), 3.87 kill/set (8th), .40 aces/set (15th), .350 hitting percentage (19th)
• Blake Leeson | 1.01 blocks/set (18th)