COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team hops on a cross-country flight for the third time this season, destined for LAX to compete in the fourth annual Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, hosted by the University of Southern California in 2019. In addition to scrapping with the host Trojans, Ohio State will also face UCLA inside the Galen Center.
Friday, March 8 | Los Angeles, Calif. (Galen Center)
8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT – Ohio State (6-12, 2-6 MIVA) vs. No. 5 UCLA (14-4, 6-0 MPSF)
Saturday, March 9 | Los Angeles, Calif. (Galen Center)
11 p.m. ET/8p.m. PT – Ohio State at No. 11 USC (9-7, 3-3 MPSF)
BIG TEN/PAC-12 CHALLENGE HISTORY (a.k.a. ‘AVCA SHOWCASE’)
Hosting duties come full circle when USC hosts the 2019 Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, a yearly event which started in 2016 and pits Ohio State/Penn State vs. UCLA/USC in a round-robin weekend. The Bruins own a 5-1 overall record while the Buckeyes come in at 4-2. Penn State is 3-3 over the past three seasons and the Trojans have been held winless (0-6) thus far.
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. Three episodes have been released thus far with more to come. A must-watch for all Buckeye fans.
LEESON TO COMPETE IN THE WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
Blake Leeson is one of 12 individuals picked to represent Team USA in the World University Games (July 3-14) in Napoli, Italy.
LEESON AMONG THE NATION’S MOST EFFICIENT ATTACKERS
Speaking of Mr. Leeson, he is attacking at a .480 clip (130-21-227) to rank sixth best nationally (it also currently slots him fifth all-time in Ohio State history for a single season).
Prior to missing over a month with an injury, Jake Hanes was pacing the entire country in kills and points per set. While he doesn’t meet the statistical minimums after returning last week, his 4.50 kills/set and 5.11 points/set would rank second and fifth, respectively, among the NCAA leaders.
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 56% of the team’s assists (3423), 36% of the blocks (78), 32% of the service aces (28), 29% of the points (292), 28% of the kills (224) and 26% of the digs (146).
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 115 matches and ranks second with 361 blocks and a .458 career hitting percentage.
In terms of Buckeye lore, Leeson has made an impression in the OSU record books as well. He enters the week ranked top-15 in hitting percentage (4th, .458), solo blocks (t-7th, 61), block assists (12th, 300), total blocks (12th, 361) and aces (15th, 72).
TALLEY MARKS A TALLY IN THE OHIO STATE RECORD BOOKS
In just his seventh career match, freshman Ethan Talley placed his name in the schoool record books when he terminated all 10 attempts against McKendree on March 1. Talley became fifth Buckeye to ever finish a match hitting 1.000 (minimum of 10 attempts).