COLUMBUS, Ohio – Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR nationally-ranked men’s volleyball teams will be competing in the Covelli Center this weekend (Feb. 7-8). The 15th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1) take on Big West Conference reps, No. 3 UC Santa Barbara (6-2) and No. 5 Long Beach State (5-1), while No. 9 Penn State (4-4) faces the same two opponents on opposite days.
COMPETITION SCHEDULE (all times eastern)
Friday, Feb. 7
4:30 p.m. | Penn State vs. Long Beach State
7 p.m. | Ohio State vs. UC Santa Barbara
Saturday, Feb. 8
4:30 p.m. | Penn State vs. UC Santa Barbara
7 p.m. | Ohio State vs. Long Beach State
🆓 Parking. (map)
FRESHMEN MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Michael Wright received National Freshman of the Week honors earlier this week from Off the Block, the nation’s premier website for coverage of collegiate men’s volleyball. He steered the Ohio State offense to a .396 team hitting percentage with 64 assists during a pair of road sweeps at Saint Francis and Penn State.
Samuel Clark was selected for the same award on Jan. 21 after attacking .769 with 10 kills, eight blocks and five digs in wins over Lincoln Memorial and King.
DEVILBISS THRIVES IN HOME STATE WEEKEND
Pennsylvania native Reese Devilbiss was sensational last week in back-to-back wins at Saint Francis and Penn State. He blasted 27 kills at a .610 attacking rate to go along with 10 digs and four blocks in six sets.
Ohio State is ranked top-10 nationally in two statistical categories, one offensive and one defensive. The Buckeyes are attacking .338 overall, good for fourth best among 45 D I-II teams. Ohio State also holds the eighth-highest blocks per set rate, averaging 2.53 stuffs.
Individually, four Buckeyes slotted top-25 in at least one category:
Reese Devilbiss | .372 hitting percentage (13th nationally); 3.50 kills/set (25th)
Michael Wright | 9.73 assists/set (14th)
Martin Lallemand | .346 hitting percentage (19th)
Ethan Talley | 1.04 blocks/set (19th)
Four weeks into the 2020 season and Ohio State had corralled three MIVA Defensive Player of the Week awards, earned by three different Buckeyes. Martin Lallemand started the trended during the opening week before Samuel Clark and Tim Baldwin went back-to-back on Jan. 21 and 28.