March 10, 2014

Match Notes


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 15 Ohio State men’s volleyball team is set to travel to No. 11 Lewis for a Tuesday night match. The MIVA showdown is slated for an 8 p.m. ET start in Neil Carey Arena in Romeoville, Ill.

Tuesday, March 11 – 8 p.m. ET
No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-8, 4-4 MIVA) at No. 11 Lewis Flyers (12-4, 4-2 MIVA)

The nationally-ranked Ohio State men’s volleyball team split its matches last week, falling at ranked IPFW Wednesday before defeated rival Penn State Friday in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes dropped a 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 29-27, 23-25, 10-15) heartbreaker to the Mastodons in Fort Wayne, but regrouped to defeat the nationally-ranked Nittany Lions in four sets (17-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-22).

Junior outside hitter Michael Henchy led the Buckeyes both offensively and defensively, totaling 31 kills and 21 digs over nine sets played. Henchy finished with 17 kills and 14 digs against IPFW for his first double-double of the season. He added 14 kills and seven digs vs. Penn State.  Junior opposite Andrew Lutz totaled 17 kills at IPFW and chipped in a season-high 11 digs against the Nittany Lions. He tied a career-high in blocks with five in both matches.

Middle blocker Driss Guessous averaged 2.67 kills over the two matches with 15 at IPFW. Freshman setter Christy Blough totaled 96 assists for a 10.67 average and classmate Miles Johnson totaled 17 kills and 17 digs over nine sets played.

Ohio State comes in at No. 15 in this week’s AVCA Division I-II Coaches Top 15 poll and is one of five MIVA schools ranked. Loyola sits atop of the poll at No. 1, Lewis is No. 11, IPFW comes in at No. 12 and Ball State stands at No. 13.

In its 46th season in the league, the Ohio State men’s volleyball program has an impressive 396-102 overall record in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA). The Buckeyes have captured a conference-best 24 regular season titles and 14 MIVA Tournament championships. Overall, Ohio State has produced 20 MIVA player of the year awards and has garnered 172 all-MIVA selections

Under head coach Pete Hanson, Ohio State is 252-80 and has won 15 regular season titles over Hanson’s 29 seasons. He has been named the conference’s coach of the year 11 times and has guided the team to 10 MIVA tournament crowns.

A pair of juniors are leading the Buckeyes this season offensively in opposite Andrew Lutz and outside hitter Michael Henchy.

Lutz, who hails from North Reading, Mass., has a team-best 190 kills this season and is averaging 3.39 kills per set. That average ranks seventh in the MIVA and 29th in all of NCAA Division I-II. Henchy, a native of Ventura, Calif., is second on the squad with 159 kills and a 2.84 average.

In MIVA-only play, Lutz and Henchy rank ninth and 10th, respectively, in kills per set. Lutz is averaging 3.24 with 94 and Henchy has a 3.03 average with 88.

A pair of middles in Driss Guessous and Dustan Neary has provided big numbers for the Buckeyes both defensively and offensively at the net. Guessous, a redshirt freshman from Pasadena, Calif., has a team-best 53 (16s, 37a) blocks on the season for .95 average that ranks sixth in the league. Neary, a junior from Ventura, Calif., is third on the team with a .65 average and has 33 (3s, 30a) blocks over 51 sets played.

The duo is also doing great things offensively for Ohio State as each are among the top five in kills on the squad. Guessous is third with 143 kills on the season and a 2.55 average. His .459 attack percentage is first in the MIVA and ranks third nationally. To be ranked, a hitter must average 3.0 attempts per set. Neary has a 1.14 kills average and is hitting a solid .454 at the net.

A trio of true freshmen has been solid contributors to the Ohio State squad this season in Gabriel Domecus, Christy Blough and Miles Johnson.

Domecus has started in 15 of the team’s 16 matches this season with 11 at libero. He leads the squad with 101 digs and a 1.84 average. Blough has started 10 matches at setter and has a team-best 372 assists with a 10.63 average. Outside hitter Johnson is fourth on the team with a 1.70 kills average and has started in 11 matches. He is averaging 2.14 points per set.

The No. 11 Lewis Flyers are 12-4 on the season with 4-2 record in MIVA play and are coached by Dan Friend in his 10th season with the program. The Flyers took last week off of competition, but entered their break with a pair of 3-0 wins vs. MIVA opponents in Quincy and Lindenwood, Feb. 28 and March 1, respectively.

Lewis is led offensively by a pair of junior outside hitters in Geoff Powell and Greg Petty. Powell has a team-best 185 kills on the season with a 3.63 average, while Petty has 176 and a 3.52 average. Setter BJ Boldog has 516 assists, while libero Lucas Yanez is averaging 2.27 digs per set with 116 on the season. Middle blocker Bobby Walsh has 67 blocks with a 1.31 average.

The Buckeyes hold a 27-18 overall record over the Flyers with the two first meeting in 1994. Lewis, however, has claimed the last four meetings, including a 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-22, 25-16) win over Ohio State in St. John Arena, Feb. 15.  

HEAD COACH Pete Hanson
The Buckeyes are led by head coach Pete Hanson, who is in his 30th year with the program. He has guided the Buckeyes to 15 MIVA regular season titles, including the six straight from 2007-2012. Under his direction, Ohio State captured its first NCAA Division I-II title in 2011 as the squad defeated UC Santa Barbara in five sets.

The Buckeyes have totaled 18 20-win seasons with Hanson and have reached the NCAA Championships 10 times. Hanson is 589-313 overall at Ohio State in his 29 seasons and boasts a 252-80 record against MIVA opponents.

Buckeyes Michael Henchy and Driss Guessous earned the opportunity to don the Red, White and Blue this summer, representing the United States at the FIVB Men’s U-21 World Championship held Aug. 22-Sept. 1 in Ankara and Izmir, Turkey.

The pair was selected from a field of 22 in late June to the final 12-player roster. A familiar face was at the helm of the program in Ohio State’s own head coach Pete Hanson and Buckeye assistant Sean Byron also served the same capacity for Team USA.

Team USA struggled a bit throughout the tournament and finished the 20-team championship in 11th overall. Despite leaving Turkey without a medal, Team USA did leave on a high note with a three-set win over rival Canada.

The Ohio State men’s volleyball was chosen to finish third in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association by a vote of the league coaches. The Buckeyes return three starters from last year’s squad that finished tied for third in the league with a 9-5 record.

The 2012 MIVA Tournament champion and regular season co-champion Loyola was voted as the conference favorite with 62 points and seven first place votes. Lewis was picked to finish second with 57 points and one first place vote. Ohio State came in third with 47 points.

Junior outside hitter Michael Henchy was selected to the MIVA Preseason All-Conference team. The Ventura, Calif., product started in 25 matches for the Buckeyes last season and finished second on the squad with 301 kills and a 3.34 kills average. He was selected to the 2013 MIVA All-Conference first team and also earned preseason honors last year.

Ohio State travels to sunny California for the Active Ankle Classic, March 14-15, hosted by Long Beach State. The Buckeyes will take on the tournament host Friday in a 10 p.m. ET match and will conclude the weekend with an 8 p.m. ET match vs. Cal State Northridge. Both matches will be played in Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.