COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (15-4, 6-2 MIVA) wraps up a five-week stint away from competition inside St. John Arena with a road trip to take on conference opponents Quincy (March 23; 8 p.m. ET) and Lindenwood (March 25; 3 p.m. ET).
MATCH COVERAGE LINKS
Twitter updates: @OhioState_MVB
Friday, March 23 | 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT
Ohio State at Quincy (12-13, 0-8 MIVA)
Video stream: GLVC Sports Network (free)
Sunday, March 25 | 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT
Ohio State at Lindenwood (8-11, 1-7 MIVA)
Video stream: The MIAA Network (free)
HISTORY WITH THE HAWKS AND LIONS
The Buckeyes own a combined mark of 66-2 all-time against Quincy and Lindenwood. Ohio State’s lengthy history with the Hawks began in 1993 and spans 57 matches. The Buckeyes have dropped a total of just 16 sets in garnering a 55-2 overall record versus Quincy. Ohio State has arose victorious in all 11 previous contests against the Lindenwood since the initial tilt not long ago in 2013. The Buckeyes have won 33 of 37 sets contested in the series.
MIVA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Nicolas Szerszen is the latest Buckeye selected by the conference office as a Player of the Week winner, taking home co-Offensive Player of the Week honors on March 20. It marked the tenth MIVA weekly award of Szerszen’s illustrious career. Four different Buckeyes have been honored in 2018:
Jake Hanes (Offensive; Jan. 30)
Maxime Hervoir (Offensive; March 6)
Aaron Samarin (Defensive; March 6)
Nicolas Szerszen (Offensive; March 20)
OFFENSE HEATING UP
The Buckeye attack is rolling into form late in the season and it shows in the national statistical rankings. Ohio State is slotted in the Top-5 nationally and leads the MIVA for kills per set (13.19), hitting percentage (.343) and aces per set (1.80).
RETURN TO ST. JOHN ARENA NEXT WEEK
Following eight consecutive road matches, the Buckeyes will play in front of a home crowd again next week when hosting Loyola (Thursday; March 29) and Lewis (Saturday; March 31). In 50-plus seasons playing inside St. John Arena, Ohio State men’s volleyball owns a 551-104 (.841) home record.
NO ONE COMPARES TO 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 1,496 kills are more than 300 clear of second-best Tanner Syftestad from UC San Diego at 1,161 kills. From the service stripe, Szerszen has sniped the opposition 206 times while King College’s Nick Drooker ranks second at 164 career service aces.
‘SUNNY’ STEERING THE OFFENSE
Sanil `Sunny’ Thomas moved into the top spot this week for assists, dishing out an NCAA-best 11.13 helpers per set. The Buckeye offense is attacking .343 under Thomas’ direction, ranking fourth nationally.
HANES AND SZERSZEN REPRESENT TWO OF COUNTRY’S MOST LETHAL WEAPONS
Redshirt freshman Jake Hanes paces the MIVA and ranks Top-10 nationally with 4.48 points/set (ninth in NCAA) and 3.76 kills/set (10th). He is also inflicting damage from the service stripe at a .43 aces per set clip, slotted 20th in the country.
Nicolas Szerszen has excelled in efficiency, delivering the nation’s eighth-best hitting percentage at .397 while also ranking Top-20 in kills/set (3.61; 15th), aces/set (.45; 16th) and points/set (4.24; 20th).