March 17, 2014

Match Notes


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 15 Ohio State men’s volleyball team continues its break from conference play and hosts Harvard Tuesday in St. John Arena. The match is set for a 7 p.m. ET start and admission is free.

Tuesday’s match will be streamed at through Buckeye Vision. Subscriptions can be purchased by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, March 18 – 7 p.m. ET
No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-11) vs. Harvard Crimson (10-6)

The nationally-ranked Ohio State men’s volleyball team traveled to Long Beach, Calif., this past weekend for the Active Ankle Classic hosted by Long Beach State. The Buckeyes opened the classic Friday with a five-set (19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 22-25, 11-15) loss to No. 2 LBSU and followed with another 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 31-29, 21-25, 13-15) setback to Cal State Northridge Saturday.

Redshirt junior Andrew Lutz led the Buckeyes with a pair of 20-kill performances for 50 on the weekend. Highlighting his weekend was his performance against CSUN where he totaled a career-high 29 kills against the Matadors. Lutz added 12 digs in the match for his first double-double of the season.

Middle blocker Driss Guessous finished second on the team in kills, having 27 over 10 sets played. He led the Buckeyes with 10 blocks overall, including six blocks (2s, 4a) against CSUN. Teammate Dustan Neary set a career-mark vs. the Matadors with six block assists.

Freshman setter Christy Blough registered 117 assists over 10 sets played and totaled a career-best 60 against LBSU. Classmate Miles Johnson put together a pair of double-digit dig performances, including a career-high 12 vs. Cal State Northridge.

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. 10, Ball State stands at No. 12 and IPFW is ranked No. 13.

A handful of Buckeyes reached career marks this past weekend at the Active Ankle Classic in Long Beach, Calif.

Highlighting all performances was redshirt junior Andrew Lutz‘s offensive production against Cal State Northridge Saturday. The North Reading, Mass., product totaled a career-high 29 kills in the match and his 66 attempts also set a career mark.

Freshmen Christy Blough and Miles Johnson each had career performances on the weekend as well. Blough reached 60 assists at Long Beach State and notched the first double-double of his career against CSUN with 57 assists and 11 digs. Johnson set a career-best in digs Saturday with 12 and also picked up a double-double on the weekend with 11 kills and 11 digs against LBSU.

With career performances this past weekend, redshirt junior Andrew Lutz sparked his offensive power and has led the team this season in kills. The opposite has a team-best 246 kills on the year with a 3.57 average. That mark ranks him fourth in the MIVA and 20th in all NCAA Division I-II.

The North Reading, Mass., product has registered 10 matches with double-digit kills, including a pair of contests this past weekend with 20 or more kills. Lutz totaled a career-high 29 kills against Cal State Northridge Saturday after having 21 kills vs. No. 2 Long Beach State Friday.

In MIVA-only play, Lutz ranks ninth with a 3.12 kills average and has 100 on the year. He has totaled four matches with double-digit kills against league opponents.

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 64 (19s, 45a) blocks on the season for .93 average that ranks fifth in the league. Neary, a junior from Ventura, Calif., is second on the team with a .70 average and has 45 (3s, 42a) blocks over 64 sets played.

The duo is also doing great things offensively for Ohio State as each are among the Top 5 in kills on the squad. Guessous is third with 178 kills on the season and a 2.58 average. His .467 attack percentage is first in the MIVA and ranks second nationally. To be ranked, a hitter must average 3.0 attempts per set. Neary has a 1.19 kills average and is hitting a solid .457 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.

Johnson, who hails from Carlsbad, Calif., has stepped up offensively for the Buckeyes as of late. The outside hitter has totaled five double-digit kill performances in the last eight matches to up his season average to 1.80 on the season. Johnson also ranks tied for first on the squad in service aces, having 18 overall.

Domecus has started in 18 of the team’s 19 matches this season with 14 at libero. He leads the squad with 119 digs and a 1.78 average. Blough has started 13 matches at setter and has a team-best 522 assists with a 10.88 average.

The Harvard Crimson stands at 10-6 overall this year and are guided by head coach Brian Baise in his sixth season. The team is coming off a split week last week, opening with a 3-0 victory over Marymount at home, March 11. Harvard dropped a five-set match at Ball State Sunday.

Junior DJ White leads the team offensively with 173 kills and a 3.20 average. Senior Nick Madden and freshman Casey White are averaging 2.44 and 2.36 kills, respectively. Setter Nick Bendall has a 9.58 assists average and libero Chris Gibbons has 151 digs on the season for a 2.60 average. Middle blocker Caleb Zimmick is among the EIVA’s best with 61 blocks and a 1.07 average.

Tuesday’s meeting will be the first between the two programs.

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 589-315 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.

The Buckeyes travel to MIVA rival Ball State, March 23, for a 4 p.m. ET match. The meeting will be the last regular season meeting between the two teams.