Jan. 28, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 7 Ohio State University men’s volleyball squad carries its four-match sweeping streak into the conference slate, traveling to Quincy University and Lindenwood University for the start of Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association action. Ohio State faces the Hawks Friday night and the Lions on Saturday — both contests beginning at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET.
— OSU Men’s Volleyball (@OhioState_MVB) January 28, 2016
BUCKEYES ON A ROLL
Ohio State has seized the last 12 sets played overall, posting sweeps over USC, George Mason, Erskine and Coker in dominating fashion. The Buckeyes out-scored their last four opponents by a combined 88 points, averaging a scoring margin of over seven points per set and 21+ points in each contest.
NEXT MAN UP
A slew of absences to early season starters has done little to derail the Buckeyes in the last two weeks. True freshman setter Sanil Thomas has stepped in admirably for an injured Christy Blough, divvying up nearly 10 assists per set in starting the two most recent matches. Matt Dorn has earned the starting nod thrice since All-American Driss Guessous went down. Last week, Dorn threw up nine blocks against Coker and his attacking .375 overall this season. Illness struck Miles Johnson versus the Cobras, making way for Matt Pohlman to fill an expanded role. Pohlman mirrored Johnson’s lethal serving weapon, ripping five aces (tied for the fifth most in school history) in the team sweep.
Entering conference play, Ohio State ranks among the nation’s best in a pair of offensive categories. The Buckeyes are attacking .364 in NCAA-only matches (match vs. McMaster not recognized by NCAA) to rank third nationally and are slotted sixth with a 2.05 service aces per set average.
Individually, Nicolas Szerszen cracks the top-5 with 4.53 kills and 5.32 points per set. His .58 aces/set and .397 hitting clip are just outside the top-10, ranked 11th and 13th, respectively.
SZERSZEN GOES BACK-TO-BACK
Nicolas Szerzen stretched his reign as the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association’s Offensive Player of the Week for 14 days, selected by the conference office for two straight weeks (Jan. 12 and Jan. 19). The Buckeye sophomore attacked .622 and averaged 5.17 kills per set during a pair of Ohio State sweeps over George Mason and Erskine. He produced nearly five and a half points per set the week prior facing Princeton, UCLA and USC. Szerszen has already corralled four MIVA weekly awards just three weeks into his second collegiate campaign – doing so twice as a freshman as well.
MIVA PRESEASON PROGNOSTICATIONS
Ohio State was picked to place second in the MIVA Coaches Poll, receiving three of the conference’s nine first-place votes and sliding in one point shy of preseason favorite Loyola. The MIVA head coaches also selected Miles Johnson and Nicolas Szerszen as members of the Preseason All-MIVA Team.
PETE HANSON INDUCTED INTO AVCA HALL OF FAME
Pete Hanson was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame on Dec. 17 at the national convention in Omaha, Neb. He becomes one of just 70 members all-time to become enshrined in the AVCA Hall of Fame which recognizes `individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their profession and the sport.’