Feb. 7, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9 Ohio State men’s volleyball team takes to the road to face No. 7 Penn State in a non-conference match Feb. 9. The 8 p.m. ET match will be played in Rec Hall.
Saturday, February 9, 8 p.m. ET
No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-2) at No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-1 prior to Friday’s match vs. Saint Francis)
RECAP: NJIT & GEORGE MASON
The Buckeyes returned to St. John Arena for a pair of non-conference matches last weekend, hosting NJIT and George Mason. Ohio State topped NJIT in three sets (25-20, 25-23, 25-17) and followed with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-23) win over the Patriots.
Sophomore Michael Henchy had a solid weekend for the Buckeyes, totaling 33 kills over seven sets played for a 4.71 kills average. His 20 kills against NJIT Friday set a new career mark for the Ventura, Calif., product. Redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz finished with 21 kills over five sets played, including 15 kills in the win over George Mason.
In Saturday’s victory against the Patriots, three Buckeyes finished with double-digit kills and four had double-digit digs. Lutz and Henchy each picked up double-doubles in the win.
IN THE POLLS
Ohio State enters the weekend as the No. 9 team in both the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Top 15 poll and the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 poll. The Buckeyes moved up a spot from last week’s poll following wins over NJIT and George Mason. MIVA rival Lewis ranks 14th and Loyola-Chicago is receiving votes in AVCA’s poll.
In the 3-1 win over George Mason, Ohio State totaled a season-best 70 digs collectively behind double-digit dig performances from four Buckeyes. Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson led all student-athletes with 16 digs, while classmates Andrew Lutz and Michael Henchy each notched a career-best 14 digs. Senior Chen Levitan finished with a career-high 13 digs in the win.
Overall, the Buckeyes lead the MIVA with a 10.82 digs per set average. Anderson has a conference-best 3.18 digs average, while Levitan is 10th at 1.82.
Buckeye blockers rank fourth in the league with a 2.24 blocks per set average. Senior middle blocker Grayson Overman is seventh in the MIVA with a 1.06 average.
The sophomore quartet of outside hitter Michael Henchy, opposite Andrew Lutz, libero Brennan Anderson and setter Peter Heinen has put together solid numbers so far this season to lead the Buckeyes both offensively and defensively.
Henchy and Lutz lead the squad in kills, averaging 3.70 and 3.58 kills per set, respectively. Henchy has a team-high 122 kills on the season and leads the squad with 10 service aces. Lutz is second on the team with 93 kills and seven aces. Both are among the MIVA’s best in kills, aces and points.
Heinen has guided the Buckeye offensive, dishing out 352 assists so far this year. His 10.67 assists average ranks third overall among MIVA opponents. Anderson has a conference-best 105 digs over 33 sets played and is first with a 3.18 digs average.
A handful of Buckeyes have totaled double-digit figures so far this season. Sophomore Michael Henchy has a team-best seven matches with double-digit kills, including a career-best 20 kills against NJIT. Henchy also has two double-doubles on the season – at Hawai’i (1/10) and against George Mason (2/2).
Redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz has reached double-digit kills in six matches this year and had a 20-kill performance at Hawai’i. He picked up the first double-double of his career against George Mason with 15 kills and a career-high 14 digs.
Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson has totaled six double-digit dig performances for the Buckeyes. He reached a career-best at Saint Francis (1/20) after recording 18 digs in the four-set win. Redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen picked up his first double-double of year at Hawai’i with 58 assists and a career-high 13 digs. Senior Chen Levitan has had two matches with double-digit kills, including a career-best 16 kills and 10 digs at Hawai’i.
The No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions are 8-1 overall and 2-0 in EIVA. The Nittany Lions finished this past weekend 2-0, beating both Pfeiffer and Mount Union in three sets.
Sophomore Russell Aaron leads the team in kills with a 2.77 average and 83 overall, while senior Nick Turko leads the team with 12 service ace and 26 blocks (3s, 23a). Redshirt sophomore Connor Curry has 84 digs and redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond averages 10.53 assists.
The Nittany Lions lead the series 68-32-1 with the Buckeyes last win coming in 2011 in a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-21, 25-20). The two squads met earlier this season at the Outrigger Invitational and the Nittany Lions took a 3-0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-22) win. Penn State will play Saint Francis Friday before taking on the Buckeyes.
HEAD COACH Pete Hanson
The Buckeyes are led by head coach Pete Hanson, who is in his 29th year with the program. He has guided the Buckeyes to 15 MIVA regular season titles, including the team’s sixth-consecutive title this past season. Under his direction, Ohio State captured its first NCAA Division I-II title in 2011 as the squad defeated UC Santa Barbara in five sets.
The Buckeyes have totaled 18 20-win seasons with Hanson and have reached the NCAA Championships 10 times. Hanson is 569-299 overall at Ohio State and boasts a 242-72 record against MIVA opponents.
Ohio State returns to St. John Arena for a pair of MIVA matches, beginning with a 7 p.m. ET match vs. IPFW Feb. 15. The Buckeyes then take on Ball State Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. ET. Admission for both matches is free.