COLUMBUS, Ohio – ‘Win or Go Home’ time has arrived for the Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (20-5), opening up postseason play Saturday night (April 14) when hosting Quincy University (12-18) in the MIVA Quarterfinals at 7 p.m. ET inside St. John Arena. An automatic bid to the NCAA Championships is up for grabs, awarded to the MIVA Tournament champion.
Ohio State’s lengthy history with the Hawks began in 1993 and spans 58 matches. The Buckeyes have dropped a total of just 16 sets in garnering a 56-2 overall record versus Quincy
KINGS OF THE MIVA
Ohio State has hoisted a league-best 27 MIVA regular season trophies, followed by Ball State and its 21 championships. The next three in order are Fort Wayne (6), Loyola (6) and Lewis (4). The Buckeyes and Cardinals have combined to capture over 70 percent of the MIVA regular season trophies all-time.
St. John Arena, the home of Ohio State men’s volleyball, was treated the Buckeyes well over the last 50-plus seasons, serving as the stage for a 553-104 (.842) all-time home record.
TAKING OVER THE OHIO STATE RECORD BOOKS
Nicolas Szerszen set another all-time Ohio State record last week, running his career points total to 1,914. He now holds the best mark ever for points (1,914), service aces (221), aces/set (.52); and is 18 kills shy of surpassing Steve Potter (1992-95) for the top spot (1,602 kills). While his offensive output is the main attraction, Szerszen is also knocking on the door of the OSU Top-5 for digs. He enters the weekend with 729 digs, just four back from fifth-place Jose’ Bengoa (1994-97) and his 733.
Juniors Blake Leeson and Sanil Thomas have etched their name into the record books as well.
Ohio State remains ranked inside of the AVCA Coaches Poll Top-10 for the 41st consecutive time this week. During that stretch which dates back over three years (Apr. 4, 2015), the Buckeyes were the No. 1-slotted team nearly 40% of the time (16 of 41 polls).
Last time outside the Top-10: April 4, 2015
Last time unranked (Top-15): Final poll of 2014
`SUNNY’ STEERING THE OFFENSE
Sanil `Sunny’ Thomas sits atop the country’s assists per set rankings, dishing out an NCAA-best 11.25 helpers per set. The Buckeye offense is attacking .340 under Thomas’ direction, ranking fourth nationally.
CONFERENCE’S TOP OFFENSE
Ohio State’s offensive attack is the best in the MIVA, pacing all conference schools in hitting percentage (.340), kills per set (13.37) and aces per set (1.77). The Buckeyes are slotted Top-4 nationally in all of those statistical categories. On the defensive side, Ohio State also leads the league by holding the opposition to a .206 team hitting percentage (sixth best in the NCAA).
NO ONE COMPARES WITH Nicolas Szerszen
Senior Buckeye Nicolas Szerszen is not only the NCAA’s active career leader in kills and service aces, he’s leaps and bounds ahead of the next closest player. His 1,585 kills are nearly 400 clear of second-best TJ DeFalco of Long Beach State at 1,197 kills. From the service stripe, Szerszen has sniped the opposition 221 times while Robert Poole (Mount Olive) ranks second with 176 career service aces. The 221 career aces represent the fourth most in NCAA history and third highest mark during the rally scoring era (2001-2018).
In addition, Szerszen is attacking at a .370 clip for his career, the best among all active outside hitters.
HANSON NEARING ANOTHER MILESTONE
Head coach Pete Hanson is three wins away from becoming just the third coach in NCAA men’s volleyball history to reach 700 total career victories. He owns an overall record of 697-339 (.673) and can soon join Al Scates (UCLA, 1963-2012; 1,239 wins) and Don Shondell (Ball State, 1964, 1966-98; 769 wins) in the 700-Win Club. Ranking fourth on the all-time list is Fort Wayne’s Arnie Ball (1981-2015) with 574 triumphs.
MIVA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Four different Buckeyes were honored in 2018:
Jake Hanes (Offensive; Jan. 30)
Maxime Hervoir (Offensive; March 6, Apr. 3)
Aaron Samarin (Defensive; March 6)
Nicolas Szerszen (Offensive; March 20, March 27) | 11 career MIVA weekly honors