Jan. 18, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s volleyball team has its home opener Saturday, Jan. 20, when they face Juniata College (1-0). The 7 p.m. match will be played in St. John Arena. Last week the Buckeyes (1-1) split a pair of road matches defeating St. Francis (Pa.) 3-0 (30-15, 30-26, 30-24) and losing to Penn State 1-3 (32-30, 23-30, 22-30, 24-30).


The USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 15 Poll, release Jan. 15, has Ohio State ranked 13th nationally. The Buckeyes were tenth in the Volleyball Magazine preseason poll.


With 10 total blocks against St. Francis, Todd Hill (Sr., Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Scioto H. S.) set a career high. Hill collected two solo and eight assist blocks against the Red Flash. The eight assist blocks is also a career high. Hill added two assist blocks against Penn State and is averaging 1.71 blocks per game.


Greg Lehman (Sr., Galena, Ohio/Big Walnut H. S.) moved into a starting role and produced good numbers last week. He had 11 kills against St. Francis and 17 at Penn State. For the two match trip, Lehman averaged 4.00 kills per game and hit .316. He also had five blocks (.71 per game).


The Buckeyes are starting two true freshmen. Middle hitter Adam Pedersen (Fr., Muskego, Wis./Muskego H. S.) and setter Mark Peckham (Fr., London, Ontario/Oakridge Secondary H. S.) were in the starting lineup for the St. Francis and Penn State matches. Pedersen had four kills, one dig and two total blocks in the St. Francis match and three kills and a solo block against Penn State. Peckham had 32 assists, two ace serves and three assist blocks against St. Francis and 49 assists, six digs and three assist blocks at Penn State.


With 20 kills on the weekend, Pieter Olree (Sr., Reading, Pa./Exeter H. S.) ranks third in kills per game with a 2.86 average. Olree also provided a solid defense collecting 17 digs in the two matches for a 2.43 per game average to lead Ohio State. He had eight digs against St. Francis and nine at Penn State.


Handling the libero duties for Ohio State for the first weekend of play was Tom Trantow (Jr., River Forest, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest H. S.). Trantow had three digs at St. Francis and collected 11 at Penn State last weekend.


By a vote of the conference coaches, Ohio State has been picked as the preseason favorite to win the MIVA championship. The teams were ranked as follows: Ohio State, Ball State, Lewis, Quincy, Loyola, Indiana-Purdue, Mercyhurst, Clarke and Findlay.


Chris Fash and Pieter Olree have been selected by a vote of the MIVA coaches to the preseason first team all-conference squad. Greg Lehman was named to the third team.


The 2001 season will bring a new look to men’s collegiate volleyball. Adapting a variation of the international rules, collegiate volleyball will play all rally scoring (point per serve, no sideouts) games this season. The best three of five games will have games one to four to 30 points (25 in international play) with game five to 15. The use of the libero (a designated backrow player) will be expanded to allow a different player to be designated prior to each game. A serve that touches the net and goes into the opponent’s court is a live ball and must be played while balls hit out-of-bounds past the net may be pursued and returned to one’s court and then played over the net.


In his 17th year at Ohio State, Pete Hanson has put together one of the top men’s volleyball teams in the country. Last season his squad won its sixth Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association championship in the last eight years. That squad advanced to the NCAA Championship match before losing to UCLA. For his team’s efforts, Hanson was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year. The 1998 team, ranked second in the country in the latter stages of the season, finished sixth in the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Poll. They also were honored as the top team in the final regular season Volleyball Magazine Poll. That magazine honored Hanson as the Coach of the Year for his 25-2 season and the MIVA regular-season championship.

Hanson, in his 18th season, has a career record of 323-210 (.606) and is 309-198 (.609) in his 17-year tenure with the Buckeyes. His squads have won eight MIVA championships and made four NCAA tournament appearances. Hanson has been named the MIVA Coach of the Year five times including the 2000 season.


The Buckeyes continue at home next weekend when they host Western Ontario Friday, Jan. 26 in St. John Arena at 7 p.m. OSU faces the Mustangs Saturday, Jan. 27 in a match that will be played at Genoa Middle School in Westerville, Ohio at 7 p.m. Neither match will count on OSU’s NCAA records as they are being played as exhibitions.

Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Standings Jan. 16, 2001 Conference Overall Ohio State – 1-1 .500 Indiana-Purdue – 1-1 .500 Ball State – 1-2 .333 Lewis – 0-2 .000 Clark – 0-0 .000 Findlay – 0-0 .000 Loyola-Chicago – 0-0 .000 Mercyhurst – 0-0 .000 Quincy – 0-0 .000

USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Poll Jan. 16, 2001 – No. 1 Rank School Total 2000 Last (First Place Votes) Points Record Week 1 Pepperdine (5) 215 3-0 3 2 Long Beach State (3) 211 0-0 5 3 UC-Santa Barbara (6) 184 2-0 14 4 Southern California 181 0-0 4 5 UCLA 180 2-2 1 6 Hawai’i 169 2-0 8 7 Brigham Young 157 0-0 7 8 Stanford 147 2-0 11 9 Penn State 114 1-0 15 10 Lewis 82 0-2 10 11 Cal State Northridge 73 2-2 12 12 Pacific 59 1-0 NR 13 Ohio State 55 1-1 2 14 Ball State 32 1-2 13 15 Concordia College (NY) 24 2-0 NR

Others receiving votes: Indiana-Purdue 12, UC Irvine 11, Quincy 6, Loyola Chicago 6, UC San Diego 1, Princeton 1.