Feb. 3, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team plays host to a pair of long-time Midwetsern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association rivals when the IPFW Mastodons and 14th-ranked Ball State Cardinals come to town on Thursday (Feb. 4) and Saturday (Feb. 6), respectively.
BUCKEYES ON A ROLL
Ohio State has strung together six straight sweeps, seizing 18 consecutive set victories. The Buckeyes have outscored its last half dozen opponents by a combined 126 points, averaging a scoring margin of 20-plus points per triumph.
HISTORY WITH THE MASTODONS & CARDINALS
Ohio State Men’s Volleyball has squared off with Ball State more than any other opponent in program history. The Buckeyes and Cardinals have clashed 175 times since 1968 with OSU owning a 93-82 advantage in the all-time series, including a 52-32 mark inside St. John Arena. Ohio State has a long history with IPFW as well, matching up with the Mastodons on over 100 occasions with a 71-37 edge all-time. The Buckeyes are 39-12 versus IPFW at home.
SZERSZEN HAULS IN YET ANOTHER MIVA AWARD
Nicolas Szerszen 3, everyone else 2. That’s the 2016 tally for Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) Offensive Player of the Week awards following Szerszen’s third such recognition in five weeks of the season. The OSU Buckeye sophomore has already gathered five MIVA weekly accolades just one month into his second collegiate campaign — also doing so twice as a freshman.
SZERSZEN’S MIVA PLAYER OF THE WEEK HISTORY
Offensive — Feb. 2, Jan. 19, Jan. 12, 2016; March 10, 2015
Defensive — Feb. 17, 2015
Ohio State entered the week as the nation’s top attacking squad, hitting a team percentage of .389 in NCAA matches (McMaster match not recognized by NCAA). That swinging rate ranks first in the entire country. The Buckeyes are also averaging 2.00 aces per set; good for sixth-best.
Individually, Nicolas Szerszen is slotted top-5 in several different categories: 4.64 kills/set (3rd), 5.38 points/set (3rd), .438 attacking efficiency (7th) and .56 aces/set (9th). Christy Blough’s 10.74 assists per set come in seventh on the national stage.
MOMENTS WITH MITCH
Former Buckeye opposite hitter Mitch Beal is teaming up with OhioStateBuckeyes.com this season, interviewing members of the program each week to discuss the latest happenings around OSU Men’s Volleyball. Check out the weekly video series at OhioStateBuckeyes.com and posted via the social media channels listed in the bottom left corner of this program.
— OSU Men's Volleyball (@OhioState_MVB) February 4, 2016
PFEIFFER MATCH RESCHEDULED
Ohio State’s home match vs. Pfeiffer University, originally-scheduled for January 23, has been rescheduled for Friday, February 6 at 7 p.m. The non-conference tilt was moved due to travel concerns associated with Winter Storm Jonas.
NEXT MAN UP
A slew of absences to early season starters did little to derail the Buckeyes. True freshman setter Sanil Thomas stepped in admirably for an injured Christy Blough, divvying up nearly 10 assists per set in starting a pair of OSU victories. Matt Dorn has earned the starting nod five times since All-American Driss Guessous went down. Dorn threw up nine blocks against Coker (Jan. 22) and is attacking .457 overall this season. Illness struck Miles Johnson versus the Cobras, making way for Matt Pohlman to fill an expanded role. Pohlman mirrored Johnson’s lethal serving weapon, ripping five aces (tied for the fifth most in school history) in the team sweep.
PETE HANSON INDUCTED INTO AVCA HALL OF FAME
Pete Hanson was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame on Dec. 17 at the national convention in Omaha, Neb. He becomes one of just 70 members all-time to become enshrined in the AVCA Hall of Fame which recognizes `individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their profession and the sport.’
MIVA PRESEASON PROGNOSTICATIONS
Ohio State was picked to place second in the MIVA Coaches Poll, receiving three of the conference’s nine first-place votes and sliding in one point shy of preseason favorite Loyola. The MIVA head coaches also selected Miles Johnson and Nicolas Szerszen as members of the Preseason All-MIVA Team.