Feb. 8, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Elite men’s collegiate volleyball is on display this week at St. John Arena as the top-ranked Buckeyes play host to No. 6 Lewis Thursday night before a Saturday evening bout with No. 10 Loyola. Both conference contests are slated for 7 p.m. ET starts.
Ohio State is riding a 34-match winning streak
Marks the longest winning streak in OSU Athletics history for teams competing in head-to-head competition
The Buckeyes last suffered an NCAA loss on February 6, 2016 (vs. Ball State)
Ohio State won 102 of 121 sets (84%) during the victorious stretch
The streak includes six wins over Top-5 opponents and nearly half (16) against teams ranked inside the Top-12
Also included in the streak are 16 straight wins in true road matches
Loyola owns 40-match run in 2014-15 while UCLA is believed to own the all-time record of 47 straight (1983-85)
HISTORY WITH THE FLYERS AND RAMBLERS
Ohio State has seized victory in 31 of 51 previous meetings with Lewis, including four of the last five overall and 19 of 29 all-time inside St. John Arena. The Buckeyes hold an upper hand versus Loyola as well, posting a 33-19 record. Ohio State won both meetings in 2016 and own a 22-4 mark when hosting the Ramblers.
JOHNSON RE-UPS AS MIVA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Miles Johnson was re-elected for his second consecutive term as the MIVA’s Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday (Feb. 7). Johnson’s second straight weekly award marks the fourth overall for Ohio State already in 2017, joined by Nicolas Szerszen’s ‘Offensive’ distinction on Jan. 10 and Gabriel Domecus capturing ‘Defensive’ honors on Jan. 24.
THE ACE RACE
Miles Johnson surpassed Buckeye great Steve Potter (1992-95) with his 124th career service ace on Jan. 28 vs. Long Beach State, becoming Ohio State’s all-time career leader for aces. Johnson’s sole ownership of the school record lasted just 37 minutes, however, as Nicolas Szerszen also tallied his 124th ace to pull even atop the list later in that same match. Szerszen is now a few steps ahead at 130 aces while Johnson remains in the hunt with 127 aces.
The aforementioned dynamic duo does not represent the only Buckeyes chasing all-time career marks. Christy Blough, Gabriel Domecus and Driss Guessous are climbing up the school rankings as well. A comprehensive look at the `Career Records Watch’ can be found on Page 6 of the match notes.
AND THEN THERE WAS ONE
The Buckeyes received an assist from Big Ten brethren Penn State on Jan. 28 by handing Coker College its first loss of 2017, ensuring Ohio State as the country’s only remaining undefeated squad.
Ohio State is not only 11-0 and the top-ranked team in the land, but is also slotted highly in nearly every statistical category. The Buckeyes lead nationally in kills (13.69/set), blocks (2.68/set) and assists (12.89/set). Ohio State ranks Top-4 in the NCAA with a .366 hitting percentage (2nd), 2.00 aces/set (3rd) and an opponent hitting percentage of .180 (4th) as well.
Individually, four Buckeyes can be found in the Top-10 of at least one NCAA statistical category. Miles Johnson’s 5.49 points per set are tops in the country while Nicolas Szerszen’s 5.14 points/set are slotted fourth. Johnson and Szerszen also rank third nationally with 4.49 kills/set and .75 aces/set, respectively (Szerszen rated eighth at 4.11 kills/set). Blake Leeson’s 1.09 blocks/set and a .420 hitting percentage by Szerszen both come in at ninth-best. In addition, Christy Blough’s 11.48 assists/set have not only aided the Johnson-Szerszen offensive output, but also pace the entire NCAA.
Miles Johnson EARNS NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Miles Johnson was named the AVCA National Player of the Week and MIVA Offensive Player of the Week on Jan. 31 after averaging over five kills and six points per set in a week filled with three Buckeye victories, including two over nationally-ranked opponents. This marks the second time winning both awards for Johnson, also doing so on Feb. 16, 2016.