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Feb. 18, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State (7-4 overall, 3-2 Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) men’s volleyball team will play in the Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic next weekend. The Buckeyes will open the tournament playing UC-Irvine (6-8) Friday night at 6 p.m. ET and face either No. 1 (Div. III) Springfield (4-4) or No. 12 Penn State (6-5) Saturday. Those two teams play the second match Friday at 8 p.m. Friday’s losers will face off at 6 p.m. Saturday with the championship match scheduled for 8 p.m.

A LOOK AT OHIO STATE
Pete Hanson coaches the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes are 7-4 overall and 3-2 in the MIVA. In matches over the last week, Ohio State defeated Mercyhurst, 3-0 (30-20, 30-24, 30-25) and Loyola, 3-2 (28-30, 33-31, 30-18, 29-31, 15-12 in home matches. OSU’s top scorer is Andy Cole (So., Glendale, Wis.) with a 4.11 points per game average. Mark Greaves (So., Fenton, Mo.) ranks second at 3.97 with Adam Pedersen (Sr., Muskego, Wis.) third at 3.58. Cole leads the team in kills per game at 3.50 with Greaves second at 3.13. Adam Pedersen (Sr., Muskego, Wis.) is the top percentage hitter on the squad at .467 with Scott Spurlock (Jr., Stow, Ohio) second at .418. Setter Mark Peckham (Sr., London, Ontario, Canada) runs the offense for the Buckeyes and averages 12.88 assists per game. Defensively, libero Dan Meske (Fr., Willow Springs, Ill.) leads the team in digs with a 2.12 per game average. Greaves ranks second at 1.72. At the net, Spurlock has a team-high 1.16 blocks per game average on one solo and 43 assists with Pedersen second at 1.00 (2 solos, 22 assist blocks). As a team, the Buckeyes average 18.66 points, 14.83 kills per game and are hitting .275. Ohio State averages 1.17 aces, 9.32 digs and 2.66 blocks per game. OSU opponents average 18.15 points, 14.27 kills and are hitting .245. Buckeye opponents average .95 aces, 7.71 digs and 2.93 blocks per game. A LOOK AT UC-IRVINE
John Speraw coaches the Anteaters. UC-Irvine has is 6-8 overall and split matches last week. The Anteaters lost 0-3 (17-30, 28-30, 26-30) at Long Beach State and won 3-0 (30-25, 30-26, 31-29) at home against UC San Diego. Jimmy Pelzel leads the team in points (306) per game with a 5.67 average. Kyle Weichert is second at 2.93 (155.5). Pelzel is the team leader in kills at 4.98 with Matt Webber second at 3.00. Weichert is the top percentage hitter at .365. At setter Brett Reid has a 12.04 assist per game average with Brian Thornton at 9.93. BJ Fell (.41) and Pelzel (.22) each share team-high honors with 12 ace serves. Defensively, Greg Ford leads the team in digs (131) with a 2.43 per game average. Pelzel ranks second at 1.76 (95). At the net, Weichert leads the team in blocking with a 1.34 per game average on four solos and 67 assists. David Smith is second at 1.26 with two solos and 41 assists. As a team, UC-Irvine averages 19.08 points and 14.78 kills per game and is hitting .267. The Anteaters average 1.33 aces, 8.96 digs and 2.97 blocks per game. Irvine opponents average 16.03 points and 13.02 kills per game while hitting .267. Anteater opponents average .96 aces, 8.00 digs and 2.05 blocks per game.

UC-IRVINE-OHIO STATE SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State is 1-1 against UC-Irvine. In 1989, OSU won 3-2 (15-6, 6-15, 15-6, 1-15, 15-12) and in 1992, lost 0-3 (10-15, 9-15, 8-15) in matches played at UC-Irvine.

A LOOK AT SPRINGFIELD
Tim Volkmann coaches the Pride. Springfield has a 4-4 overall record is the top-ranked team in Division III. Last weekend, the Pride lost at Rutgers-Newark, 3-2 (30-32, 30-25, 30-18, 27-30, 15-10), defeated George Mason, 3-1 (30-16, 30-28, 29-31, 30-25) and lost to No. 2 Juniata, 3-1 (32-30, 24-30, 28-30, 28-20 at home. Brandon Mueller has been the top offensive player recording 22 and 25 kills against Rutgers-Newark and George Mason, respectively.

SPRINGFIELD-OHIO STATE SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State leads the series with Springfield, 6-1 Last season the squads played back-to-back matches at Ohio State with the Buckeyes winning, 3-0 (30-20, 30-21, 30-23) the first night before dropping a 3-2 (30-27, 30-20, 28-30, 29-31, 11-15) loss to the Pride the next night. Only one match has been played at a neutral site. Ohio State won 2-0 (15-4, 15-4) in the 1976 consolation match of the NCAA Championship hosted by Ball State.

A LOOK AT PENN STATE
Mark Pavlik coaches the Nittany Lions. Penn State is 6-5 overall and was ranked 12th nationally last week. The Nittany Lions defeated Southern California, 3-0 (30-18, 30-24, 30-22) and lost to UC San Diego, 3-2 (35-33, 26-30, 25-30, 30-17, 15-12) a week ago. Penn State hosts St. Francis on Tuesday. Keith Kowal is the team leader in points with a 4.83 per game average. Matt Proper ranks second at 4.12. Kowal is the team leader in kills with a 4.13 per game average. Proper ranks second at 3.42 and Kevin Wentzel is third at 3.41. Kowal has a team-high .573 hitting percentage. At setter, Dan O’Dell has a 13.76 assist per game average. Wentzel has a team-high 10 (.27) ace serves on the squad. Defensively, Ricky Mattei has a team-high 2.61 digs per game average. O’Dell ranks second at 1.39. At the net, Kowall is averaging a team-high 1.29 blocks per game with two solos and 47 assists. Nate Meerstein ranks second at 1.18 with one solo and 44 assists.

PENN STATE-OHIO STATE SERIES HISTORY
Penn State has a 48-26-1 lead in the series with Ohio State. In neutral site matches, the Nittany Lions have a 21-6-1 advantage, but have lost the last two neutral site matches in 1999 and 2000 at the Golden Dome Classic. Penn State has won the last four meetings including a 3-1 (28-30, 30-24, 30-27, 30-25) win in Columbus and a 3-0 (30-23, 30-15, 30-26) victory at Penn State last season.

BUCKEYES DOWN LOYOLA IN FIVE
With career-highs of 22.5 points, 17 kills and nine assist blocks, Adam Pedersen helped OSU to a 3-2 (28-30, 33-31, 30-18, 29-31, 15-12) victory over Loyola. Mark Greaves added 21 points with a career-high 19 kills while Scott Spurlock had a season-high 13 kill. Andy Cole added 12 kills and career-highs of three ace serves and nine assist blocks in the win. Setter Mark Peckham had a season-high nine digs and collected three blocks with two solos and an assist. Rambler James Grunst scored a team-high 20.5 points with 17 kills and five assist blocks.

OHIO STATE DEFEATS MERCYHURST
A strong performance by Mark Greaves helped the Buckeyes to a 3-0 (30-20, 30-24, 30-25) win over Mercyhurst Tuesday. Greaves had a match-high 18.5 points, recording 16 kills (.321), two ace serves and an assist block. Mike Wauligman added 9.5 points and Andy Cole nine against the Lakers. Each had nine kills with Wauligman adding an assist block. Setter Mark Peckham had 41 assists in the match and was the top blocker with a solo block and three assists. Laker Dave Schmidl had a team-high 14.5 points for Mercyhurst with 12 kills, an ace serve, a solo block and an assist block.

PEDERSEN HAS BIG MATCH
In the Loyola match, Mark Pedersen had career-highs of 22.5 points, 17 kills and nine assist blocks. He hit a season-high .682 (17-2-22) and added an ace serve on the night. His previous points has was 19.5 at Rugers-Newark in 2002, 16 kills, twice, the last against Loyola in 2003 and eight blocks, four times, the last against Loyola in 2002. Pedersen has a team-high .467 hitting percentage, ranks second in blocks with one per game.

GREAVES CONTINUES HOT STREAK
With double-figure kills in his last five matches, including a career-high 19 kills against Loyola, Mark Greaves has been OSU’s go-to player. He has hit .321 or better in his last three matches with a career-high .429 against Clarke. He has serve up 10 aces in the last five matches, leading OSU with a .49 aces per game average.

COLE HAS CAREER BLOCKING NIGHT
With nine assist blocks against Loyola, Andy Cole set a career high for his efforts. His previous best was six in two matches, the last against Juniata this season. Cole added five digs and a career-high three ace serves against the Ramblers. He leads the Buckeyes in points per game with a 4.11 per game average and kills with a 3.50 mark.

SPURLOCK HAS SEASON-HIGH 13 KILLS AGAINST LOYOLA
A 13-kill performance against Loyola produced a season-high of Scott Spurlock. He hit .375 and added two ace serves, two digs and four assist blocks in the match. Spurlock is averaging a team-high 1.16 blocks per game. He has recorded a solo and 43 assist blocks on the season. Spurlock produced a career-high 13 assist blocks earlier this season at Lewis. That effort equaled the Ohio State match record with four others. Sharing the record twice is Colin McMillan (1998 and 1999), Jon Yunker (1993) and Tom Hoff (1993).

WAULIGMAN HELPS ON DEFENSE
With a season-high 13 digs against Loyola, Mike Wauligman had a season-high, beating his previous best of 10 at IPFW. He added six kills, two ace serves and three assist blocks against the Ramblers.

MESKE IMPROVES CAREER DIGS MARK
Against Loyola, Dan Meske had a career-high 13 digs in the five-game win over the Ramblers. His previous high had been 11 against Rutgers-Newark.

OHIO STATE IN THE NCAA STATISTICS
Based on national statistics released, Feb. 11, Scott Spurlock ranks in a tie for 13th in blocking at 1.23. Mark Greaves ranks seventh in ace serves per game at .516. Dan Meske is 13th nationally in digs per game at 2.09. Mark Peckham stands eighth in assists at 12.94 per game.

GREAVES HAS RARE TRIPLE-DOUBLE AT LEWIS
With 12 kills, 15 digs and 10 assist blocks at Lewis, Mark Greaves recorded the first triple-double (kills-digs-blocks) of the season. Only two others have been reported since 2001, both with assists.

BUCKEYES SEASON-HIGH 40 ASSIST BLOCKS, RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME
With season-high 40 assist blocks at Lewis, Ohio State recorded the fourth most assist blocks in a match for the Buckeyes. The Buckeye match record is 50 against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1993. Second best was 47 against Lewis in 1999. The 40 blocks was one short of third place (41) set against Rutgers-Newark (2002) and at Indiana-Purdue (1999).

ST. JOHN ARENA, HOME OF THE BUCKEYES
Historic St. John Arena is the home court for both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams. The facility is also used for gymnastics, wrestling and fencing. The men’s volleyball program has enjoyed great success in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes have a 358-77 (.823) record over the last 37 years. With a capacity of 13,276, St. John Arena has hosted three NCAA Men’s Championships (1978, 1983, 1997).

HEAD COACH Pete Hanson
In his 20th year at Ohio State, Pete Hanson has put together one of the top men’s volleyball teams in the country. His squads have won six Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association championships in the last 11 years and captured two of the last four MIVA Tournament Championships. The 2000 squad advanced to the NCAA Championship match before losing to UCLA. For his team’s efforts, Hanson was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year. The 1998 team, ranked second in the country in the latter stages of the season, finished sixth in the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Poll. They also were honored as the top team in the final regular season Volleyball Magazine Poll. That magazine honored Hanson as the Coach of the Year for his 25-2 season and the MIVA regular-season championship.

Hanson has a career record of 385-240 (.616) in 21 seasons and is 371-231 (.616) in his 20-year tenure with the Buckeyes. His squads have won eight MIVA championships and made five NCAA tournament appearances. Hanson has been named the MIVA Coach of the Year five times including the 2000 season.

NEXT WEEK FOR OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes return to MIVA action when they play at Ball State, at 7 p.m, Friday, Feb. 27. OSU then hosts Findlay at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28. The following Wednesday, the Buckeyes will face Penn State at 7 p.m., March 3 in a match that will be delayed telecast by College Sports Television at 9:30 p.m., Saturday, March 6.

MIVA UPCOMING MATCHES

Wednesday, February 18
D’Youville at Mercyhurst, 7 p.m.
St. Ambrose University at Clarke, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, February 20
*Loyola at Quincy, 7 p.m.
*Findlay at Lewis, 7 p.m.
*Ball State at IPFW, 7 p.m.
Ohio State vs. UC-Irvine, 6 p.m. (1)
TBA at Clarke, tba (2)

Saturday, February 21
*Ball State at Mercyhurst, 7 p.m.
*Findlay at IPFW, 7 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Springfield or Penn State, 6/8 p.m. (1)
TBA at Clarke, tba (2)

(1) Hall of Fame Tournament, Springfield, Ma.
(2) Clarke Challenge

*MIVA Conference Matches