The 2019 regular season comes to an end this week when Ohio State hosts Purdue Fort Wayne (April 4) and Ball State (April 6). So, too, does St. John Arena as the main competition venue for men’s volleyball. The Covelli Center is set to open soon and will serve as the new home of Buckeye Men’s Volleyball.
Thursday, April 4 | Columbus, Ohio (St. John Arena)
7 p.m. ET – Ohio State (8-18, 3-9 MIVA) vs. No. 13 Purdue Fort Wayne (16-9, 8-4 MIVA)
Saturday, April 6 | Columbus, Ohio (St. John Arena)
7 p.m. ET – Ohio State vs. Ball State (14-13, 5-7 MIVA)
VENERABLE ST. JOHN ARENA BY THE NUMBERS
5 – NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships hosted (1978, 1983, 1997, 2007, 2017)
8 – men’s volleyball head coaches roamed the sidelines (Hanson 35 years; other seven with 17 years combined)
10 – MIVA Tournament titles clinched by Ohio State, including seven since 2008
20 – men’s volleyball banners hanging from the rafters
52 – seasons as the home of Ohio State Men’s Volleyball
564 – Ohio State men’s volleyball wins (.837 winning percentage all-time)
674 – Ohio State men’s volleyball matches hosted
2021 – year which St. John Arena has been selected to host the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship again
8,205 – fans in attendance to witness Ohio State capture the 2017 national title
HISTORY WITH THE MASTODONS
The Buckeyes first faced Purdue Fort Wayne (formerly known as IPFW and Fort Wayne) in 1980. The four-decade long conference rivalry has spanned 116 matches with Ohio State owning a 78-38 advantage all-time. Entering this season, Ohio State was riding a nine-match winning streak dating back to 2015 (dropping just one set during that stretch). It was the Mastodons arising victorious on Feb. 5 to snap the streak though, slicing the Buckeye edge in Fort Wayne to just 26-23. Inside St. John Arena, Purdue Fort Wayne has struggled with just 12 wins in 55 visits.
HISTORY WITH THE CARDINALS
The Buckeyes have faced Ball State more than any other opponent by a large margin. Saturday will be the 184th meeting between the two long-time MIVA combatants, a total which is nearly 60 percent more than the second-most (OSU has met both Penn State and Purdue Fort Wayne 116 times). Ohio State owns a 98-85 upper hand on the Carindals, including seven of the last 10 contests.
ALL-TIME MIVA REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONSHIPS
1 | Ohio State 19 outright, 8 shared, 27 total
2 | Ball State 15 outright, 6 shared, 21 total
t-3 | Loyola Chicago 3 outright, 3 shared, 6 total
t-3 | Purdue Fort Wayne 3 outright, 3 shared, 6 total
4 | Lewis 1 outright, 3 shared, 4 total
5 | George Williams 3 outright, 3 total
6 | Kellogg 1 outright, 1 total
BEYOND THE BLOCK O – Ohio State Men’s Volleyball
OhioStateBuckeyes.com went behind the scenes of Ohio State Men’s Volleyball to pull the curtain back a bit and offer Buckeye Nation insight into the three-time national championship program. Four episodes were produced and posted RIGHT HERE. A must-watch for all Buckeye fans.
HANES THE HULK
Prior to suffering a foot injury on Jan. 25 at Ball State, redshirt sophomore Jake Hanes was leading the country in both kills and points per game. He returned to full-time duty on March 1 and immediately racked up 47 kills in a two-match weekend, including a 25-kill performance which ranks as the second most in a four-set match by any player this season. His 23 kills at BYU earlier in the season (Jan. 10) still stand as the most nationally in a three-set contest for 2019.
Hanes now paces the MIVA and is slotted top-10 nationally with 4.27 kills and 4.84 points per set.
No active player in D-I NCAA Men’s Volleyball has played in more matches than Blake Leeson. The fifth-year Buckeye senior has logged 123 matches. In addition, his .457 career hitting percentage and 381 total blocks rank second among all active players.
In terms of Buckeye lore, Leeson has made an impression in the OSU record books as well. He enters the week ranked top-20 in hitting percentage (4th; .456) solo blocks (7th; 61), total blocks (8th; 381), block assists (11th; 320), aces (11th; 78) and blocks/set (19th; .86).
LEESON AMONG THE NATION’S MOST EFFICIENT ATTACKERS
Speaking of Mr. Leeson, he is attacking at a .469 clip (174-29-309). If hhe ad just one more attack to meet the NCAA statistical minimum of 3.3 attempts per set (he’s at 3.29), Leeson would rank fifth nationally and second in the MIVA (it currently slots him eighth all-time in Ohio State history for a single season).
WHO’S THE NEW GUY(S)?
As injuries and illness have ravaged the Buckeye roster this season, a large contingency of fresh faces have been called on to provide a heavy work load. A total of seven first-year Buckeyes (five freshmen, two sophomore transfers) have seen significant action and produced 42% of the team’s assists (441), 34% of the blocks (93), 25% of the points (349), 24% of th kills (269), 24% of the digs (180) and 23% of the service aces (32).