January 25, 2019

Buckeyes Dip Toe into Conference Slate at Ball State

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 59th season of Midwestern Intercollege Volleyball Association play starts for No. 12 Ohio State (3-3) and No. 13 Ball State (3-4) on Saturday, Feb. 26 (7 p.m. ET), when the pair of MIVA charter members clash in Muncie, Ind. Both institutions have competed in the league since its inception in 1961 and have combined to secure 48 of the 68 regular season trophies awarded (includes co-championships).


MATCH COVERAGE
ESPN3
Live Stats


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

HISTORY WITH THE CARDINALS
The Buckeyes have faced Ball State more than any other opponent by a large margin. Saturday will be the 183rd meeting between the two long-time MIVA rivals, a total which is nearly 60 percent more than the second-most (OSU has met both Penn State and Purdue Fort Wayne 115 times). Ohio State owns a 98-84 edge over the Cardinals, including wins in seven of the last nine contests.

HALL OF FAME HANSON
Head coach Pete Hanson will be formally inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame on May 22 at the Dorothy C. Boyce Banquet in Columbus, Ohio. Hanson is no stranger to Hall of Fame distinction, previously enshrined into the OSU Athletics Hall of Fame (2017) and America Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame (2015).

ELDER STATESMAN
No active player in D I-II NCAA Men’s Volleyball has played in more matches than Blake Leeson. The fifth-year Buckeye senior has logged 103 matches in his career. He also ranks second among active players with 322 blocks, just one stuff back from King University’s Jon Wheaton and his 323 rejections entering the week.

NCAA’S LEADING SCORER RESIDES IN COLUMBUS
Jake Hanes is averaging 6.24 points and 5.48 kills per set through the season’s first three weeks, both averages pacing the NCAA. Fellow ceiling scraper, Blake Leeson standing 6-foot-8, has recorded the fourth-highest hitting percentage in the country at .549 (44-5-71).

Buckeye setter Sanil Thomas is quite familiar with being atop the heap of a statistical category after leading the country with 11.28 assists/set in 2018. Thus far in ‘19, Thomas comes in at No. 7 nationally with 10.57 assists/set.

2019 PRESEASON ALL-MIVA TEAM
Jake Hanes, Blake Leeson and Sanil Thomas were each voted to the 12-man 2019 Preseason All-MIVA Team. In addition, Ohio State is slotted third in the Preseason Coaches Poll. The Buckeyes, winners of three straight regular season titles, received two of eight first-place votes from the conference’s head coaches as just five points separated the top three selections (Lewis, Loyola Chicago and Ohio State).

2019 PRESEASON COACHES POLL (points) (first-place votes)
1 | Lewis (58) (4)
2 | Loyola (54) (1)
3 | Ohio State (53) (2)
4 | Ball State (38) (1)
5 | Purdue Fort Wayne (36)
6 | Lindenwood (23)
7 | McKendree (18)
8 | Quincy (8)

TOP-10 TREND COMES TO AN END
Last Monday (Jan. 14) marked the first time Ohio State was ranked outside the AVCA Coaches Poll Top-10 since April 4, 2015 (45 consecutive polls). During that stretch, the Buckeyes were slotted No. 1 more than a third of the time (16 of 45 polls).

Last time unranked (Top-15): Final poll of 2014

HANES HAULS IN WEEKLY AWARDS
Jakes Hanes was responsible for over six points per set in Ohio State’s 2-0 opening weekend, attacking .469 in seven sets. His stellar performance was recognized by both the MIVA (co-Offensive Player of the Week) and OfftheBlockBlog.com (National Opposite Hitter of the Week).