COLUMBUS, Ohio – Conference play has arrived for the No. 14 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (8-3). The Buckeyes are set to host Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) opponents Lewis University (7-4), ranked sixth nationally, and McKendree University (7-4) which is coming off of a five-set upset at Lewis last week. The first match vs. Lewis will be Thursday (Feb. 13) with McKendree to follow on Saturday (Feb. 15), both starting at 7 p.m. ET.
🆓 Parking. (map)
HISTORY WITH THE FLYERS
Ohio State and Lewis first clashed in 1994 and have held 58 meetings since with the Buckeyes emerging victorious 35 times (35-23). That includes a 22-11 mark in Columbus. While the Flyers own two wins in a row, it is Ohio State that has taken seven of the last 10 matches overall dating back to 2016.
HISTORY WITH THE BEARCATS
The Buckeyes opened their all-time series against McKendree with 10 straight wins starting in 2015. The streak came to an end in the most recent clash, however, a five-set Bearcat victory last March.
Outside hitters Reese Devilbiss and Martin Lallemand have posted nearly identical offensive stat lines through the first 11 matches of the season. Devilbiss has 117 kills on 258 attempts while Lallemand’s 259 attempts have resulted in 119 kills.
BUCKEYES CATCHING COACHES’ ATTENTION
The Buckeyes’ 8-1 sprint out of the gates did not go unnoticed by the AVCA Coaches Poll voting committee, ranking Ohio State No. 15 nationally last week (Feb. 3). Following a pair of hard-fought losses to top-5 opponents over the weekend, Ohio State remained in the rankings this week coming in tied with UC San Diego for 14th.
Ohio State is ranked top-10 nationally in four statistical categories, two offensive and two defensive. The Buckeyes are attacking .322 overall, good for sixth best among 45 D I-II teams. Ohio State also averages 9.68 digs/set (7th), 12.59 kills/set (8th) and 2.30 blocks/set (10th).
Individually, four Buckeyes slotted top-30 in at least one category:
Reese Devilbiss | .360 hitting percentage (13th nationally); 3.44 kills/set (27th); 4.01 points/set (29th)
Michael Wright | 9.83 assists/set (10th); 1.97 digs/set (30th)
Martin Lallemand | .324 hitting percentage (23rd)
Ethan Talley | .93 blocks/set (26th)
FRESHMEN MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Michael Wright received National Freshman of the Week honors last 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.
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.