COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State men’s volleyball (1-0) is wasting no time in christening its new competition home, the Covelli Center, jumpstarting the 2020 season with five consecutive home matches. The stretch started with Saturday’s opener and continues through Jan. 17, including contests this week vs. Urbana University (Tuesday) and Saint Francis University (Thursday). BTN Plus will provide the online broadcast for both 7 p.m. ET matches while live stats can be found at www.ohiostatestats.com.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
Urbana University announced the addition of a men’s volleyball program in the summer of 2017 and last week it came to fruition when the Blue Knights hosted North Greenville in the program’s first match. Urbana took the second set and gave the Crusaders all they could handle in a four-set defeat.
The Blue Knight roster is sprinkled with a handful of Ohio natives, including two from Columbus suburbs in Jack Brinkman (Powell; Bishop Watterson H.S.) and Kurt Klamfoth (Gahanna; Gahanna Lincoln H.S.).
COVELLI CENTER OPENED iN VICTORIOUS FASHION
The Ohio State University men’s volleyball program, led by Kevin Burch making his head coach debut, was triumphant in its Covelli Center opener on Jan. 4. The Buckeyes sent away North Greenville in straight set (25-17, 27-25, 25-19) to please a crowd of 1,169 in attendance. Ohio State never trailed in any of the three sets.
Burch is the ninth head coach in program history and maintained the group’s unblemished record in debuts. All nine were winners in their first career match as Buckeye head coach.
Five different Buckeyes recorded eight or more kills for a balanced offensive attack which resulted in a team hitting percentage of .326 guided by true freshmen setter Michael Wright’s 38 assists. Reese Devilbiss paced the squad with 11 kills while Samuel Clark’s 10 kills at a .750 attacking rate (10-1-12) was the most efficient effort. Ethan Talley contributed eight kills on 11 error-free attempts (.727) while Andrew Hillman and Martin Lallemand also chipped in eight kills apiece. Hillman added three aces and two block assists to lead all Buckeyes with a dozen points.
Lallemand garnered the best defensive numbers on the night, delivering a team-high eight digs and three blocks.
COUNTRY’S ELITE COMING TO COLUMBUS
Of the 15 homes matches on Ohio State’s 2020 slate, six are set to pit the Buckeyes against opponents ranked inside the top-15 of the Preseason AVCA Coaches Poll.