Jan. 11, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio – St. John Arena is the place to be this weekend for volleyball enthusiasts and Buckeye fans alike as the top-ranked Ohio State men’s volleyball team welcomes in Stanford and No. 6 BYU for a pair of non-conference battles. Friday night pits OSU vs. The Cardinal with a rematch of the last two NCAA Finals against the Cougars coming on Saturday. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. ET starts.
HISTORY WITH THE CARDINAL
The Buckeyes outlasted Stanford in the first ever meeting back in 1982, a 3-2 victory for Ohio State. The Cardinal then tallied nine straight wins in the series, however, before dropping back-to-back sweeps over a weekend in Palo Alto to the Scarlet & Gray last season.
HISTORY WITH THE COUGARS
Brigham Young University owns a 12-6 upper hand overall in the all-time series, but the Buckeyes have had the most recent success. In each of the past two NCAA Finals, Ohio State has swept past BYU to get their hands on the national championship trophy.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
Through the first 50 seasons of Ohio State University Men’s Volleyball, calling St. John Arena home throughout, the Buckeyes acquired a home record of 543-103. Now in the 51st campaign, Ohio State improved the overall winning percentage to .842 (544-103) by adding a win in the season opener last week vs. North Greenville inside the friendly confines of this historic venue.
BUCKEYE FLOCK TAKES THE COURT
Thirteen Buckeyes saw action in the first contest of 2018, each contributing to a 3-0 trumph over North Greenville. Head coach Pete Hanson was able to dispatch a different `starting 6′ in all three sets, getting a look at multiple combinations of players.
ATOP THE HEAP
Ohio State maintains its top standing in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poill. It marks the 15th time in the last 20 polls (dating back to the 2016 final poll) in which the Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 by the panel of 26 head coaches.
The last six NCAA men’s volleyball titles have come as back-to-back accomplishments with UC Irvine taking the crown in 2012-13, followed by Loyola in 2013-14 and the Buckeyes grabbing the two most recent championships. The last school to rattle off three straight, however, was UCLA in the mid-80s when the Bruins actually strung together four consecutive from 1981-84.
SZERSZEN — PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Senior Buckeye Nicolas Szerszen received the most votes in the country for the `Off The Block’ Preseason All-America Teams, grabbing a spot on the First Team. Its marks the second straight season he was the top vote-getter. Blake Leeson, a redshirt junior, also received votes for the 2018 Preseason All-America recognition.
Szerszen has been named a National Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons, earning the honor from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in 2016 and Volleyball Magazine in 2017.
TRIO SELECTED FOR PRESEASON ALL-MIVA
Three Buckeyes received Preseason All-MIVA accolades to start 2018, highlighted by Nicolas Szerszen as the `18 Preseaon Player of the Year. Maxime Hervoir and Blake Leeson were also voted to the Preseason All-MIVA Team.