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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 10th-ranked Ohio State (13-7 overall, 8-1 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) men’s volleyball team returns home after a five-week, seven match road saga. This week the Buckeyes play host to 12th-ranked George Mason (16-6, 7-3 Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) Friday and Rutgers-Newark (6-16, 4-5 EIVA) Saturday in 7 p.m. matches in St. John Arena.

VERSEN NAMED MIVA PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Ohio State men’s volleyball outside hitter Brett Versen (Sr., Centerville, Ohio), a 6-7 outside hitter, has been named the MIVA Player of the Week. Versen had back-to-back matches with 20 or more points last week. In the 3-1 loss at top-ranked Penn State, he had a team-high 20 points recording 15 kills, three ace serves, a solo block and two assist blocks. He added four digs while hitting .375. Versen had 23 points in the 3-1 win at St. Francis. He had a co-match-high 21 kills adding four assist blocks and eight digs while hitting .289.

With his three ace serves at Penn State, Versen has 57 career ace serves and has moved to 17th on the Ohio State career aces list. He has posted double-figure kills in his last four matches and has 16 this season.

For the two matches, Versen averaged 5.38 points, 4.50 kills, 1.50 digs, .88 blocks and .38 aces per game while hitting .325. This is the second time this season Versen has been named the player of the week.

A LOOK AT OHIO STATE

The 10th-ranked Buckeyes are coached by Pete Hanson. Ohio State is 13-7 overall and has an 8-1 record in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. Last week in road matches, the Buckeyes lost, 3-1 (30-23, 27-30, 30-20, 30-19) to top-ranked Penn State and defeated St. Francis, 3-1 (31-29, 29-31, 30-28, 32-30). Leading the Buckeyes in points per game is Brett Versen with a 4.47 average. Robbie Klein (Sr.-Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio) ranks second at 4.36. Klein leads the team with a 3.82 kills per game average with Versen averaging 3.72. Kevin Heine (So.-Fr., St. Louis, Mo.) is the top percentage hitter on the squad at .465. Ben Spurlock (Sr.-So., Stow, Ohio) ranks second at .446. Setter Daniel Mathews (Sr., Shorewood, Wis.) is averaging 11.91 assists per game for Ohio State. Versen has a team-high 23 ace serves and a .32 per game average. Klein ranks second with 19 (.26) and Mathews is third with 18 (.26). Defensively, Conor Martin (Sr., Avon Lake, Ohio) leads the team with a 2.38 digs per game average. Mathews ranks second at 1.53 with Klein third at 1.41. Jason Tobkin (So.-Fr., Fairfield, Ohio) and Martin share a team-high .957 reception percentage. Tobkin has handled 270 of 282 attempts and Martin 561 of 586. John Klanac (So.-Fr., Orchard Park, N.Y.) and Klein are tied for third at .952. Martin has handled 177 of 186 reception attempts and Klein, 432 of 454. At the net, Heine leads the team with a 1.29 blocks per game average with three solos and 64 assist blocks. Mathews ranks second at 1.11 with eight solos and 70 assist blocks and Spurlock is third at 1.08 with seven solos and 72 assist blocks. As a team, Ohio State is averaging 18.82 points, 14.31 kills and 13.26 assists per game while hitting .278. The Buckeyes average 1.42 aces, 9.23 digs and 3.09 blocks per game. OSU opponents average 17.41 points, 13.58 kills and 12.96 assists per game while hitting .232. Buckeye opponents average 1.19 aces, 9.30 digs and 2.64 blocks per game.

A LOOK AT GEORGE MASON

The 12th-ranked Patriots are coached by Fred Chao. George Mason has a 16-6 overall record and is 7-3 in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. The Patriots have won their last seven matches including home victories last week over Loyola-Chicago, 3-2 (21-30, 30-27, 30-24, 27-30, 15-10) and IPFW, 3-1 (30-24, 30-27, 26-30, 30-25). Kyle Gramit leads George Mason in points per game with a 5.72 average. Hudson Bates ranks second at 4.41. Gramit has a team-high 4.73 kills per game average with Bates second at 3.77. Brandon McLaughlin leads the team in hitting percentage at .451 with Gramit second at .282. Setter Ryan Kwiatkowski has an 11.73 assists per game average for the Patriots. In service aces, Gramit has a team-high 30 and is averaging .38 per game. Mark Burik ranks second with 20 and has a .34 per game average. Defensively, Gramit leads the team with a 1.767 digs per game average. Eric Lucas ranks second at 1.769. Burik, with a .960 reception percentage, has handled 333 of 347 attempts. Lucas ranks second at .949, handling 335 of 353 attempts. At the net, Erik Lanham has a team-high 1.63 blocks per game average with four solos and 58 assist blocks. McLaughlin ranks second at 1.33 with eight solos and 72 assist blocks. George Mason is averaging 18.70 points, 14.08 kills and 13.16 assists per game while hitting .285. The Patriots average 1.25 aces, 8.06 digs and 3.38 blocks per game. Opponents average 17.12 points, 13.97 kills and 13.26 assist per game while hitting .234. George Mason opponents average 1.19 aces, 8.60 digs and 1.96 blocks per game.

GEORGE MASON-OHIO STATE SERIES HISTORY

George Mason has a 23-15 advantage in the series with Ohio State. Ohio State has a 9-2 record in matches played in Columbus. In matches played at George Mason, the Patriots have a 4-3 advantage and are 17-3 in neutral site matches. Last season, Ohio State won both contests including a 3-0 (30-26, 30-26, 30-25) win in Columbus and a 3-1 (31-33, 30-27, 30-23, 30-26) victory at George Mason. Earlier this season, the Patriots won, 3-2 (30-27, 25-30, 33-31, 27-30, 15-13) at George Mason.

A LOOK AT RUTGERS-NEWARK

The Scarlet Raiders are coached by Karl France. Rutgers-Newark, prior to playing Friday at Ball State, has a 6-16 overall record and is 4-5 in the EIVA. The Scarlet Raiders have lost their last four matches including 3-0 losses last week at home to IPFW (30-23, 30-25, 30-21) and Loyola-Chicago (30-26, 30-25, 30-25). They lost, 3-1 (30-23, 30-23, 29-31, 30-17) at Springfield this past Tuesday. Leading Rutgers-Newark in points per game is Nate Stott at 4.49. Jon Keller ranks second at 3.03. Stott is the team leader in kills per game at 3.94 with Keller second at 2.34. Keller is the top percentage hitter on the squad at .395 with Stott second at .279. Setter Jeff Zornig has an 11.92 assists per game average for the Scarlet Raiders. Zornig leads the squad in ace serves with 27 and has a .41 per game average. Kenny Rienecker (.22 per game) and Stott (.17) have 11 each. Defensively, Derek Wolfe has a team-high 1.68 digs per game average. Grant Metheny ranks second at 1.36. At the net, Kenneth Stumbaugh leads the team with a 1.10 blocks per game average with four solos and 63 assist blocks. Keller ranks second in blocking at 1.08 with four solos and 60 assist blocks. Rutgers-Newark averages 18.02 points, 14.09 kills and 13.09 assists per game while hitting .235. The Scarlet Raiders average 1.33 aces, 7.02 digs and 2.60 blocks per game. Opponents average 16.00 points, 11.77 kills and 10.71 assists per game while hitting .261. Rutgers-Newark opponents average 1.76 aces, 6.59 digs and 2.47 blocks per game.

RUTGERS-NEWARK – OHIO STATE SERIES HISTORY

Ohio State has a 27-13 record against Rutgers-Newark, The Buckeyes are 13-1 in matches played in Columbus, 10-6 in Newark and 4-6 in neutral-site matches. Ohio State has won the last four contests with the Scarlet Raiders, including two wins last season. OSU won 3-0 (30-26, 30-28, 30-18) in Columbus and 3-0 (30-27, 30-25, 30-27) in Newark. Earlier this season in Newark, the Buckeyes won, 3-0 (30-24, 30-27, 30-20).

VERSEN HAS A TEAM-HIGH 20 POINTS AT PENN STATE

Brett Versen scored a team-high 20 points at Penn State last week. He recorded 15 kills, three ace serves, a solo block and two assist blocks in the match. Versen added four digs and hit .375 against the Nittany Lions. At St. Francis, he had 23 points with 21 kills (.289), four assist blocks and eight digs. For the weekend, Versen averaged 5.38 points per game and hit .325. He has started all 20 matches this season and is averaging 4.47 points per game. Versen is hitting .277 and averages 3.72 kills, .32 aces, 1.38 digs and .75 blocks per game. He has had double-figure kills in his last four matches and 16 times this season.

VERSEN MOVES TO 17TH IN OSU CAREER ACES WITH 57

Brett Versen scored three ace serves at Penn State last week to give him 57 for his career and move him to 17th on the Ohio State career aces list. He moved past Chris Fash (1998-01) and Craig Geibel (1990-93) with 56 each. Versen needs three ace serves to move to 14th on the list and pass Greg Lehman (1998-01), Colin McMillan (1997-00) and Sam Stevens (2004-07) who are tied with 59.

KLEIN HAS SEASON HIGH POINTS AND DIGS AT ST. FRANCIS

Robbie Klein recorded season highs of 26 points and 11 digs in the St. Francis match. He had 21 kills, two ace serves, a solo block, four assist blocks and handled 18 reception attempts without an error against the Red Flash. At Penn State, Klein had 14.5 points in the match with 10 kills, three ace serves and three assist blocks. He added four digs and handled 21 of 27 reception attempts. Klein has started all 20 matches this season and is the team leader in kills per game at 3.82. He is averaging 4.46 points, .26 aces, .66 digs and 1.41 digs per game. Klein has a .952 reception percentage handling 432 of 454 attempts.

KLEIN NOW 15TH IN OSU CAREER POINTS WITH 1,005

Robbie Klein collected 40.5 points last week to raise his career total to 1,005.0. He has moved to 15th on the Ohio State career points list passing Adam Pedersen (2001-04) with 999.0. Klein needs 32 points to move past No. 14 Gary Wrobel (1994-97) with 1,037.5.

SPURLOCK TIES HIS CAREER HIGH OF 12 KILLS AT ST. FRANCIS

Ben Spurlock had 12 kills against St. Francis to equal his career high set against IPFW earlier this season. He added four assist blocks and a dig while hitting .391 in the match. At Penn State, Spurlock had six kills (.357) and four assist blocks. A starter in all 20 matches this season, he is averaging 2.59 points, 1.88 kills, .12 aces, .32 digs and 1.08 blocks per game.

SCHOENFELDT HAS A CAREER-HIGH 11 KILLS AT ST. FRANCIS

Ted Schoenfeldt (So., Northbrook, Ill.) recorded a career-high 11 kills at St. Francis last week. His previous high was nine at Loyola-Chicago this season. Schoenfeldt hit .429 in the match, adding four assist blocks, two digs and two assists. At Penn State, he had five kills, hit .625 and added three assist blocks. Playing is 13 matches this season with starts in the last four, Schoenfeldt is averaging 1.75 points, 1.09 kills, .22 aces, .75 digs and .81 blocks per game.

TOBKIN RECORDS A CAREER-HIGH EIGHT DIGS AGAINST ST. FRANCIS

Jason Tobkin posted a career-high eight digs in the St. Francis match. His previous high was six against Juniata. Tobkin added five kills, eight digs, three assist blocks and handled 29 reception attempts without an error. At Penn State, he posted eight kills, two digs, one assist block and handled 32 of 34 reception attempts. Tobkin has played in 19 matches this season and has started 11 times including the last six matches. He is averaging 2.37 points, 1.91 kills, .15 aces, 1.04 digs and .60 blocks per game. Tobkin has a .957 reception percentage handling 270 of 282 attempts.

MATHEWS MOVES TO 13TH IN OSU CAREER DIGS WITH 530

Daniel Mathews has moved to 13th on the Ohio State career digs list with 530. Last week he had two digs at Penn State and six at St. Francis. He moved past Dan Mihacevich (1994-97) with 526 and Mark Peckham (2001-04) with 525. Daniels needs four digs to pass No. 12 Mike Wauligman (2002-05) with 533. Last week at Penn State Daniels had 42 assists, two digs and four assist blocks against the Nittany Lions. He posted 34 assists, six digs, two assist blocks and two kills at St. Francis in the two games he played in. A starter in all 20 matches this season, Daniels is averaging 11.91 assists, 1.27 points, .40 kills, .26 aces, 1.53 digs and 1.11 blocks per game.

CONOR MARTIN LEADS OSU IN DIGS PER GAME AT 2.38

Conor Martin is the Ohio State team leader in digs per game with a 2.38 average. He has a team-high 176 digs this season. Martin had two digs at Penn State and handled 31 of 34 reception attempts. At St. Francis, he had his ninth double-figure dig match of the season recording 12 against the Red Flash. He added one assist in the match and handled 43 of 44 reception attempts. The starter at libero in all 20 matches this season, Martin is averaging 2.38 digs per game and has recorded 20 assists. He has a .957 reception percentage for the season handling 561 of 586 attempts.

KEHOE POSTS A CAREER-HIGH 29 ASSISTS AGAINST ST. FRANCIS

Steven Kehoe (So.-Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio) started the final two games at St. Francis, recording career highs of 29 assists and 10 digs against the Red Flash. His previous highs were 15 assists at Rutgers-Newark and three digs against St. Francis. Kehoe added an ace serve in the match at St. Francis. He saw limited action in two games at Penn State. Kehoe has played in 18 matches this season for a total of 32 games. He has produced 70 assists (2.19 per game), three aces (.09), two kills (.06), 17 digs (.53) and two blocks (.06).

HEINE SEES LIMITED ACTION AT PENN STATE

Kevin Heine played in one game at Penn State, recording a kill in the match. He did not play in the previous two matches and did not play at St. Francis. Heine has played in 16 matches this season and has 14 starts. He is averaging 2.65 points, 1.88 kills, .10 aces, .19 digs and a team-high 1.29 blocks per game.

KLANAC MISSES A SECOND WEEK OF PLAY

John Klanac (So.-Fr., Orchard Park, N.Y.) has missed the last four matches for the Buckeyes. He has played in 16 matches and has nine starts. Klanac is averaging 2.41 points, 1.98 kills, .22 aces, 1.20 digs and .44 blocks per game. He has a .952 reception percentage handling 177 of 186 attempts.

SEAN MARTIN SCORES THE FIRST POINT OF HIS CAREER

Sean Martin (So.-Fr., Lakewood, Ohio) scored the first point of his career with an ace serve at St. Francis. He set his career high with two digs in the contest. Martin has played in 15 matches this season, seeing action in 30 games. He has six digs and an ace serve on the year.

IPFW MATCH RESCHEDULED TO TUESDAY, APRIL 8

The Ohio State at IPFW match that was postponed because of the weather has been rescheduled to 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 8. The match was scheduled for March 8 but a 20-inch snowfall in Columbus prevented the Buckeyes from traveling to Ft. Wayne.

OHIO STATE IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICS

Ohio State has four players ranked in the March 31 release of the NCAA Division I-II National Statistics Leaders. Kevin Heine is ranked fourth in hitting percentage at .465 with Ben Spurlock seventh at .446. Heine is 13th in blocking at 1.29 per game. Connor Martin has a 2.38 digs per game average and is 17th. Daniel Mathews is ranked 10th in assists per game with an 11.91 average.

OHIO STATE IN THE MIVA STATISTICS

The Buckeyes are well represented in the conference-only statistics of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. Conor Martin ranks second in digs per game at 2.79 with Daniel Mathews ranked 10th at 1.68 and Robbie Klein, 20th at 1.41. Brett Versen is fourth in the conference in aces per game at .47. Mathews is tied for fifth at .44 with John Klanac 11th at .29 and Kevin Heine 16th at .24. In blocks per game, Ben Spurlock ranks third in the league at 1.30 with Mathews seventh at 1.15. Heine is 11th at 1.00 and Versen 17th at .78. Mathews is fourth in the league in assists per game at 11.74. Versen ranks fifth in points per game at 4.55 with Klein sixth at 4.38. In kills per game, Klein ranks fifth at 3.82 with Versen sixth at 3.62. Heine is OSU’s top percentage hitter at .434, ranking fourth. Spurlock ranks fifth at .430, Versen is 17th at .260 and Klein is 18th at .245. As a team, Ohio State ranks second in blocks at 3.31, aces at 1.94 and digs at 10.09 per game. The Buckeyes rank fourth in hitting percentage at .274 and are third in assists at 13.15 and kills at 14.47 per game. Defensively, Ohio State is first in hitting percentage at .175, kills at 12.26 per game and assists at 11.68 per game. The Buckeyes rank second in aces at .91 per game, fifth in digs at 9.32 and sixth in blocks at 2.78 per game.

OHIO STATE RANKED 10TH IN THE CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK/AVCA COACHES POLL

Ohio State is ranked 10th in the CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division I-II Men’s Top 15 Coaches Poll released March 31. OSU has been ranked 10th in the poll for the last two weeks. The Buckeyes began the season ranked 10th in the preseason poll and have been as high as seventh. Other MIVA conference teams ranked in the poll are Ball State sixth and Lewis 15th.

OHIO STATE RANKED NINTH IN THE MOLTEN/VOLLEYBALL MAGAZINE POLL

Ohio State was ranked ninth in the Molten Volleyball Magazine Men’s College Top 10 Poll released March 25. Ohio State began the 2008 season unranked in the Top 10, but had received votes. The Buckeyes have been as high as fifth in the poll. MIVA opponent Ball State is ranked seventh. The poll is conducted by Volleyball Magazine and voted on by members of the national men’s volleyball media.

VERSEN NAMED THE MIVA PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Feb. 5

Brett Versen was named the MIVA Player of the Week as he played a key role in conference home victories over Lewis 3-0 (32-30, 30-25, 30-27) and No. 14 Loyola-Chicago 3-2 (30-26, 27-30, 30-16, 28-30, 15-13) to keep the seventh-ranked, 6-1 Buckeyes undefeated in league play at 5-0.

Versen had a career-high 24.5 points in the win over Lewis, tying his career high of 20 kills and adding a season-high nine digs. He hit .368 in the match, added three ace serves, a solo block and an assist block. He then produced 24 points in the victory over then No. 14-Loyola-Chicago, recording 19 kills while hitting .417. He tied his career high of four ace serves while adding three digs and two assist blocks. Versen had three kills and an ace serve in the fifth game against the Ramblers and had the match-winning kill for the victory.

MATHEWS NAMED THE MIVA PLAYER OF THE WEEK – March 11

Daniel Mathews was named the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Player of the Week for his play last week. He recorded his second double-double of the season and eighth of his career with 43 assists and a season-high 11 digs in the 3-1 (28-30, 30-24, 30-23, 30-20) win at Mercyhurst. Mathews added four total blocks (one solo and three assists), two ace serves and a kill in the match. His previous dig high this season was nine in two matches.

KLEIN NAMED THE MIVA PLAYER OF THE WEEK – March 25

Robbie Klein was been named the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Player of the Week. Klein had a match-high 20.5 points in the 3-1 (28-30, 30-28, 30-28, 30-26) win at Loyola-Chicago with 17 kills, an ace serve and five assist blocks. He hit .238 adding an assist and seven digs. With the match tied at 1-1 in games and the score tied at 27, a Klein kill gave OSU its first lead of the game at 28-27. The Ramblers tied the game at 28 but back-to-back kills from Klein gave the Buckeyes a 30-28 game three victory. In the 3-0 (30-27, 30-23, 30-22) win at No. 15 Lewis, Klein had 11.5 points with 10 kills, one ace serve and an assist block. He hit .231 for the match, adding an assist and five digs. For the two matches, Klein averaged 4.57 points, 3.86 kills, 1.71 digs and .86 blocks per game. He handled 43 of 46 reception attempts (.935).

HEAD COACH PETE HANSON

Pete Hanson is in his 24th season at Ohio State. He has a 470-262 record with the Buckeyes and has 10 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Championships, including 2007. Named the MIVA Coach of the Year seven times, including 2007, he was the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 2000 when OSU was the NCAA National Championship runner-up. Hanson was also the 1998 Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year. His teams have advanced to the NCAA Championships six times including back-to-back appearances in 2000 (runner-up) and 2001 (semifinalist).

OHIO STATE PICKED SECOND IN THE 2008 MIVA PRESEASON POLL

Ohio State, the 2007 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season champion, has been picked to finish second in the conference by a vote of the league coaches. The Buckeyes received 40 points and three first-place votes. IPFW, the 2007 MIVA Tournament Champion and NCAA Tournament finalist was picked to finish first receiving 44 points and four first-place votes. Lewis was picked to finish third (34 points), Loyola-Chicago fourth (33) and Ball State fifth (24). Rounding out the voting was Quincy at sixth (13) and Mercyhurst at seventh (8).

MATHEWS AND KLEIN NAMED TO 2008 MIVA PRESEASON TEAM

Ohio State had two players named to the 2008 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Preseason All-Conference Team. The selections, voted by the league coaches, were setter Daniel Mathews and outside hitter Robbie Klein.

Mathews, a 2007 American Volleyball Coaches Association first team All-American and a two-time first team All-MIVA selection averaged 12.53 assists per game last season in conference play. He averaged .79 blocks, .91 digs, .42 aces and .63 kills per game while hitting .308.

Klein was a second team All-MIVA selection last season. He averaged 3.28 kills, .19 assists, .33 aces, 1.37 digs and .72 blocks per game while hitting .307.

Also named to the team were middle attacker Matt McCarthy and libero Ian Peckler of Ball State, outside hitters C. J. Macias and Brock Ulrich and middle hitter Josh Stewart of IPFW, opposite Ian Anderson and outside hitter Joe Guntli of Loyola-Chicago and outside hitter Jared Dayton of Lewis.

THE UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Ohio State closes out the regular season with three conference matches next week. The Buckeyes play Tuesday at IPFW and host 6th-ranked Ball State Thursday and Mercyhurst Saturday in 7 p.m. matches in St. John Arena

***OhioStateBuckeyes.com***