Feb. 21, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (11-2) sits atop the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) standings at 4-0 and strays away from home this week to face the next two MIVA teams in line. The Buckeyes face a pair of Top-10 foes in No. 9 Lewis (9-4) and No. 8 Loyola (10-3), both owners of 3-1 conference marks. Thursday (Feb. 22) presents Ohio State with the challenge of the Flyers before taking on the Ramblers 48 hours later on Saturday (Feb. 24).
Thursday, Feb. 22 | Romeoville, Ill. (Neil Carey Arena)
8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT – No. 4 Ohio State (11-2, 4-0 MIVA) at No. 9 Lewis (9-4, 3-1 MIVA)
Live Stats: Live Stats
Video Stream: GLVC Sports Network (free)
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Ohio State begins a five-week stint competing away from home after hosting Quincy on Feb. 18. The Buckeyes will play eight matches overall during the stretch before returning to the friendly confines of St. John Arena. The home of Ohio State men’s volleyball was treated the Buckeyes well over the last 50-plus seasons, serving as the stage for a 551-104 (.841) all-time home record.
HISTORY WITH THE FLYERS AND RAMBLERS
The Buckeyes owns an upper hand in the all-time series with both Lewis and Loyola. Ohio State has won 33 of 53 meetings against the Flyers, including a 13-10 record in Romeoville. The OSU-LU series sits at 35-19 overall in favor of the Scarlet & Gray, but the Ramblers possess a slight edge in Chicago (13-11). In the last two seasons, Ohio State is 5-0 versus Lewis and 4-0 when facing Loyola. While four of five clashes with the Flyers have gone four or more sets, the Buckeyes have rattled off four straight sweeps during the winning streak over the Ramblers.
Ohio State has won eight straight matches overall in 2018:
• Tied for the second longest streak in the country (Long Beach was won 13 in a row)
• Streak includes seven 3-0 sweeps
• Average margin of victory is 17.63 points per match (+141 total)
• Buckeyes are attacking .367 during the stretch
Ohio State has also won 38 consecutive matches vs. MIVA opponents dating back to Feb. 6, 2016: • Streak includes 33 straight regular season conference wins (next longest streak is 17 by BYU in the MPSF)
BEST OF THE BEST
Ohio State remains ranked inside of the AVCA Coaches Poll Top-5 for the 35th consecutive time this week. During that stretch which dates back over two years (Feb. 15, 2016), the Buckeyes were the No. 1-slotted team nearly half the time (16 of 35 polls).
Last time outside the Top-10: April 4, 2015
Last time unranked (Top-15): Final poll of 2014
‘SUNNY’ STEERING THE OFFENSE
Sanil ‘Sunny’ Thomas is the new sheriff in town when it comes to running the Ohio State offense, taking control of full-time setting duties this season. The junior from Tinley Park, Ill., is averaging 10.72 assists per set through the first 13 matches, the second-highest average in the country.
HANES EMERGING AS LETHAL WEAPON
Redshirt freshman Jake Hanes is making waves nationally as one of the NCAA’s top offensive forces through the first seven weeks of the season. He has stepped into the role of opposite hitter vacated by All-American Miles Johnson’s graduation, filing in admirably.
Hanes entered the week pacing the conference and among the Top-15 nationally for kills, points and aces: 3.93 kills/set (5th in NCAA), 4.69 points/set (4th), .48 aces/set (13th).
NO ONE COMPARES WITH Nicolas Szerszen
Senior Buckeye Nicolas Szerszen is not only the NCAA’s active career leader in kills and service aces, he’s leaps and bounds ahead of the next closest player. His 1,407 kills are more than 300 clear of second-best Tanner Syftestad from UC San Diego at 1,085 kills. From the service stripe, Szerszen has sniped the opposition 195 times while King College’s Nick Drooker ranks second at 157 career service aces.