COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (9-4, 1-1 MIVA) embarks on its first conference road trip of the 2020 campaign, destined for Loyola Chicago (4-9, 1-2 MIVA) and No. 14 Purdue Fort Wayne (6-4, 1-2 MIVA) to compete Friday and Saturday night, respectively. Both contests are scheduled for 7 p.m. local time starts (8 p.m. ET at Loyola Chicago).
HISTORY WITH THE RAMBLERS
The Buckeyes have won 37 of 60 previous meetings with Loyola Chicago since 1996. The Ramblers took all three clashes last season, however. In Chicago, Ohio State trails the all-time series, 11-16, while owning a 25-5 mark at home (1-2 on a neutral floor).
HISTORY WITH THE MASTODONS
With 117 matches since 1980, the Buckeyes have faced Purdue Fort Wayne more than any other opponent with the exception of Ball State (184 matches). Ohio State has built a 79-38 edge over the Mastodons which includes a 26-23 upperhand in Fort Wayne. Whether it’s been IPFW, Fort Wayne or Purdue Fort Wayne, the Buckeyes have dominated the recent series, winners in 10 of the last 11 tilts.
Outside hitters Reese Devilbiss and Martin Lallemand have posted similar offensive stat lines through the first 13 matches of the season. Devilbiss has 129 kills on 302 attempts while Lallemand’s 293 attempts have resulted in 134 kills.
Ohio State is ranked top-10 nationally in two statistical categories, one offensive and one defensive. The Buckeyes are attacking .311 overall and averaging 9.65 digs per set, both good for eighth best among 45 D I-II teams.
Individually, three Buckeyes slotted top-30 in a statistical category:
Michael Wright | 9.81 assists per set (13th nationally)
Martin Lallemand | .328 hitting percentage (21st)
Reese Devilbiss | .315 hitting percentage (16th)
Lallemand and Devilbiss’ hitting percentages rank third and fourth, respectively, among MIVA players.
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.