COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 52nd season of Ohio State University men’s volleyball begins with home matches on back-to-back nights (Jan. 4-5) at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes host the University of Charleston Friday before welcoming in long-time rival Penn State University in a Saturday tilt. Both contests are slated for 7 p.m. ET first serve.
Live stats can be found at www.ohiostatestats.com and BTN Plus subscribers will be able to view the online video stream. Looking for match updates on the go? Follow @OhioStateMVB for the low down.
HISTORY WITH THE GOLDEN EAGLES AND NITTANY LIONS
While the Buckeyes have faced Penn State over 100 times, this will mark just the second meeting between Ohio State and the University of Charleston in men’s volleyball after the Buckeyes posted a road win in West Virginia last season. Ohio State owns a 23-13 advantage all-time over the Nittany Lions in St. John Arena, but its Penn State with an upper hand overall (72-41-1). In recent years, the Buckeyes have reigned supreme by winning five of the last six and seven of nine.
CELEBRATING ST. JOHN ARENA
St. John Arena has been the home of Ohio State Men’s Volleyball since the program’s first season in 1968. The historic facility has witnessed the Buckeyes post a 557-104 (.843) home record during the last 51 years. Summer 2019 will bring the opening of the Covelli Center, housing numerous Ohio State teams including men’s volleyball.
The season-long St. John Arena celebration starts Saturday when the first 250 fans in the arena receive a free St. John Arena commemorative poster (see below). Those in attendance will also be treated to video features on St. John Arena.
Ohio State is ranked inside the AVCA Coaches Poll Top-10 for the 44th consecutive time (at No. 8 in the preseason poll). During this stretch that dates back over three and a half years (Apr. 4, 2015), the Buckeyes have been slotted No. 1 more than a third of the time (16 of 44 polls).
Last time outside the Top-10: Apr. 4, 2015
Last time unranked (Top-15): Final poll of 2014
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)
HANES NAMED A PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
A 19-person nationwide committee voted 21 players to the Off the Block Preseason All-American Teams and Ohio State’s Jake Hanes was chosen for the Second Team. Sanil Thomas also received votes on multiple ballots.
THOMAS RETURNS AS NATION’S TOP ASSIST ACCUMULATOR
Sanil Thomas is back for his senior season after leading the entire country with 11.28 assists per set in 2018. The Buckeye offense attacked .343 under Thomas’ direction, ranking third nationally.