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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 10th-ranked Ohio State men’s volleyball team travels to Honolulu, Hawai’i, to open the 2010 season at the Outrigger Hotels Invitational. The Buckeyes open the season against host and 12th-ranked Hawai’i at 7 p.m. HT Thursday and face top-ranked Southern California Friday and fifth-ranked Penn State Saturday in 4 p.m. HT matches.

OHIO STATE
The 10th-ranked Buckeyes are coached by Pete Hanson. Ohio State finished the 2009 season with a 16-11 overall record and was 9-1 in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. The Buckeyes won both the MIVA regular season and tournament championship. Ohio State returns four starters and their libero from last season.

HAWAI’I
The 12th-ranked Warriors are coached by Mike Wilton. Hawai’i finished the 2009 season with an 9-18 overall record and was 6-16 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, finishing 10th. The Warriors return five starters and their libero for this season.

BUCKEYE-WARRIOR SERIES
Hawai’i leads the series with Ohio State, 2-0. Both matches have been played in Hawaii. The squads played last season at the Outrigger Hotels Invitation, a 3-0 (30-27, 30-24, 31-29) Hawai’i victory.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
The top-ranked Trojans are coached by Bill Ferguson. Southern California finished the 2009 season with a 21-11 overall record and was 13-9 in the Mountain Pacific Sports, finishing fifth. The Trojans won the MPSF tournament. Southern California returns all six starters for the 2010 season.

BUCKEYE-TROJAN SERIES
Southern California leads the series with Ohio State, 17-1. The Trojans are 6-0 at USC and 11-0 at neutral sites. Ohio State won the only meeting in Columbus, a 3-2 (16-14, 6-15, 15-13, 11-15, 15-11) victory in 1997 at the NCAA Preview Tourney. The Trojans have the won the last two meetings including a 3-1 (30-18, 30-28, 25-30, 31-29) victory at the 2009 Outrigger Hotels Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii.

PENN STATE
The fifth-ranked Nittany Lions are coached by Mark Pavlik. Penn State finished the 2009 season with a 27-4 overall record and was 12-0 in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. Penn State won both the EIVA regular season and tournament championships in 2009. The Nittany Lions return four starters and their libero from the 2009 season.

BUCKEYE-NITTANY LION SERIES
Penn State leads the series against Ohio State, 62-29-1. Ohio State has a 17-11 mark in Columbus. The Nittany Lions are 25-6 at Penn State and 26-6 in neutral site matches. Last season at the Outrigger Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii, Penn State defeated Ohio State, 3-0 (30-27, 30-24, 30-19). The Nittany Lions, at Penn State, defeated the Buckeyes, 3-0 (30-20, 30-27, 30-21). Penn State won, 3-0 (30-21, 30-21, 30-27) in Columbus. Penn State has won the last six meetings with Ohio State and 10 of the last 12.

OHIO STATE RANKED 10TH IN THE PRESEASON AVCA POLL
Ohio State has been ranked 10th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I-II Men’s Coaches Top 15 Preseason Poll with 101 points. The Buckeyes were ranked 10th in the final 2009 poll.

OHIO STATE TABBED AS PRESEASON FAVORITE IN THE MIVA
The Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association announced Ohio State has been picked as the preseason favorite by a vote of the league coaches. The Buckeyes, three-time defending MIVA regular season champions and two-time defending MIVA tournament champions, edge Ball State by one vote. Ohio State had four first place votes to three for the Cardinals. Lewis was picked to finish third, Loyola-Chicago fourth and IPFW fifth. First-year member Grand Canyon was picked to finish sixth and Quincy seventh to round out the voting.

OHIO STATE HAS THREE PLAYERS NAMED TO THE MIVA PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Three Buckeyes, Kevin Heine, Steven Kehoe and John Klanac, were named to the 10-player MIVA Preseason All-Conference Team. Also named to the team were Ball State’s Billy Ebel, J.D. Gasparovic and Ethan Pheister. Mike Iandolo and Nathan Klaas of Lewis, Darryl Shank of IPFW and Kris Berzins of Loyola Chicago complete the team.

Heine, a 6-5 red-shirt senior middle hitter, averaged 1.92 kills and 1.12 blocks per game in conference play last season. Kehoe, a 6-4 setter, was a 2009 MIVA first team All-Conference selection. The red-shirt senior averaged 12.75 assists, 1.97 digs and .94 blocks per game. Klanac, a 6-6 outside hitter, was a 2009 MIVA second-team All-conference selection. The red-shirt senior averaged 2.91 kills, 1.52 digs and .82 blocks per game.

HEAD COACH PETE HANSON
Pete Hanson is in his 26th season at Ohio State. He has a 493-273 record with the Buckeyes and has won 12 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association championships, including 2009. Named the MIVA Coach of the Year nine times, including 2009, he was the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 2000 when Ohio State 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 eight times including back-to-back appearances in 2000 (runner-up) and 2001 (semifinalist) and in 2008 and 2009 (semifinals).

NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE
Ohio State returns home to its MIVA opener by hosting IPFW at 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15. The Buckeyes return to the road with a 2 p.m. match at St. Francis Sunday, Jan. 17 and a 6 p.m. contest at Juniata, Monday, Jan. 18.

***OhioStateBuckeyes.com***