COLUMBUS, Ohio – The postseason is upon us as the fifth-seeded Ohio State men’s volleyball team prepares to open the MIVA Tournament against fourth-seeded Ball State in a quarterfinal matchup. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday in Worthen Arena.
HISTORY WITH BALL STATE
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Ball State, 100-87. The Buckeyes are 32-38 when playing in Muncie, Ind., and split their regular season series with the Cardinals. Ohio State took the initial meeting on Feb. 27 in five sets before dropping a 3-2 decision in Columbus on March 11.
Rookie Sotiris Siapanis was selected as the MIVA Newcomer of the Year and received All-MIVA First Team distinction while senior Martin Lallemand garnered second team recognition on Friday.
Siapanis is the fifth Buckeye to be tabbed as the league’s top newcomer and first since Nicolas Szerszen in 2015. The 6-foot-3 outside hitter led all freshman and ranked second in the MIVA with a .363 hitting percentage. He averaged 3.93 kills per set to check in at No. 10 nationally. Siapanis has registered double figures in kills in all 12 of the matches he has played in, including a career-high 23 against Purdue Fort Wayne, and has hit above .300 on 10 occasions.
Lallemand picked up All-MIVA laurels for a second time in his career after being a first team selection in 2020. He put away 3.33 kills per set, the second-best total for the Buckeyes, and earned a .295 hitting clip. The 6-foot-4 outside hitter has tallied 19 service aces and his .35 aces per set was fourth in the conference standings.
LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes (9-9) wrapped up their regular season with a 3-2 loss to Quincy last Saturday. Lallemand led the offense with 23 kills and a .515 hitting clip while Siapanis put up 19 kills. Michael Wright distributed 41 assists and Noah Platfoot added 13 helpers. Luke Meidel and Siapanis both tallied eight digs while Justin Howard turned in five blocks.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
Ball State (11-7) finished its regular season slate with a five-set win over McKendree last Saturday. The Cardinals had four players earn All-MIVA honors with a pair on the first and second teams. The squad is led by Kaleb Jenness with 3.77 kills per set, which ranks 19th nationally. Quinn Isaacson averages 10.70 assists to check in at No. 4 in the country. As a team, Ball State is third nationally in kills (13.28) and assists (12.26).
Siapanis is averaging 3.93 kills with a .363 attacking clip, which ranks 10th and 15th, respectively, among the nation’s leaders. Wright distributes 9.79 assists per set, the 15th-highest total in the country. As a team, the Buckeyes are 11th in kills (12.63), 12th in assists (11.73) and 15th in hitting percentage (.280).