Feb. 14, 2013

Weekend Notes

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 6 Ohio State men’s volleyball team returns to St. John Arena and hosts a pair of MIVA matches this weekend. The Buckeyes take on IPFW Friday at 7 p.m. ET and then face Ball State Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. Admission for both matches is free.

Friday, February 15, 7 p.m. ET
No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-2, 2-0 MIVA) vs. IPFW Mastodons (5-3, 2-1 MIVA)
Sunday, February 17, 4 p.m. ET
Ohio State vs. Ball State Cardinals (8-2, 3-2 MIVA)

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The then-No. 9 Ohio State men’s volleyball team earned a 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 26-24) win over then-No. 7 Penn State Saturday night in University Park, Pa. The win moved the Buckeyes to 8-2 on the season, while the Nittany Lions fell to 9-2 overall. Saturday’s result marked the first time since 2006 Penn State was swept at home.

The Ohio State defense finished with 10.0 blocks on the night highlighted by a season-high seven (1s, 6a) from senior Grayson Overman. Classmate Chen Levitan totaled four, while redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen had three.

Redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz led the Buckeyes with 13 kills and added eight digs in the win. Levitan finished with nine kills and Overman totaled six. Heinen had a team-best 36 assists and sophomore libero Brennan Anderson totaled eight digs.

Following a three-set win at then-No. 7 Penn State, the Buckeyes moved up both the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Top 15 poll and the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 poll. Ohio State is tied for sixth on the AVCA poll and is the No. 7 team for Volleyball Magazine.

The Ohio State defense has put up big numbers so far this season to help the team to an 8-2 record. In the team’s 3-1 win over George Mason (Feb. 2), Ohio State totaled a season-high 70 digs collectively behind double-digit dig performances from four Buckeyes.

The Buckeye back row ranks first in the MIVA, averaging 10.83 digs per set. Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson is first in the league with a 3.14 average, while senior Chen Levitan is ninth at 1.78.

The Buckeye blockers are averaging 2.33 blocks per set and have notched 10.0 blocks four times this season. Senior Grayson Overman leads the team with 41 blocks (5s,36a) and is fourth in the conference with a 1.17 average.

The sophomore quartet of outside hitter Michael Henchy, opposite Andrew Lutz, libero Brennan Anderson and setter Peter Heinen has put together solid numbers so far this season to lead the Buckeyes both offensively and defensively.

Henchy and Lutz lead the squad in kills, averaging 3.53 and 3.66 kills per set, respectively. Henchy has a team-high 127 kills on the season and leads the squad with 11 service aces. Lutz is second on the team with 106 kills and seven aces. Both are among the MIVA’s best in kills, aces and points.

Heinen has guided the Buckeye offensive, dishing out 388 assists so far this year. His 10.78 assists average ranks second overall among MIVA opponents. Anderson has a conference-best 113 digs and is first with a 3.14 digs average.

A handful of Buckeyes have totaled double-digit figures so far this season. Sophomore Michael Henchy has recorded seven matches with double-digit kills, including a career-best 20 kills against NJIT. Henchy also has two double-doubles on the season – at Hawai’i (1/10) and against George Mason (2/2).

Redshirt sophomore Andrew Lutz has reached double-digit kills in seven matches this year and had a 20-kill performance at Hawai’i. He picked up the first double-double of his career against George Mason with 15 kills and a career-high 14 digs.

Sophomore libero Brennan Anderson has totaled six double-digit dig performances for the Buckeyes. He reached a career-best at Saint Francis (1/20) after recording 18 digs in the four-set win. Redshirt sophomore Peter Heinen picked up his first double-double of year at Hawai’i with 58 assists and a career-high 13 digs. Senior Chen Levitan has had two matches with double-digit kills, including a career-best 16 kills and 10 digs at Hawai’i.

The IPFW Mastodons stand at 5-3 overall and are 2-1 in the MIVA. The squad opened its conference schedule with a loss to Lindenwood in four set before battling back for a four-set win against Quincy last weekend. IPFW defeated Ball State Wednesday, 3-1, in Muncie.

Junior Eddie Rivera leads the team in kills with a 3.10 average and 96 on the season. Sophomore Ramon Burgos has 25 blocks (25a), while classmate Omar Rivera has a 9.54 assist average.

The Buckeyes lead the series 68-33 with IPFW’s last win coming in 2007 in a three-set sweep (30-22, 30-27, 30-26).

The Ball State Cardinals are 8-2 overall and 3-2 in the MIVA. The Cardinals concluded last weekend 1-1, beating Grand Canyon in five sets Saturday before dropping their first match of the year in a sweep to the Lopes Sunday. IPFW then traveled to Muncie Wednesday and came away with a 3-1 win over Ball State.

Senior Greg Herceg leads the MIVA in kills with a 4.12 average. Junior Kevin Owens also leads the MIVA in blocks, averaging 1.51 per set. Libero Tommy Rouse is second in the league with a 3.08 digs average.

The rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Cardinals dates back to 1968 and the series is the oldest in Ohio State history. The Buckeyes lead the series 90-78 with 49 wins in St. John Arena and have won 13 of the last 15 meetings.

HEAD COACH Pete Hanson
The Buckeyes are led by head coach Pete Hanson, who is in his 29th year with the program. He has guided the Buckeyes to 15 MIVA regular season titles, including the team’s sixth-consecutive title this past season. 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 570-299 overall at Ohio State and boasts a 242-72 record against MIVA opponents.

The Buckeyes host Juniata in a non-conference match Feb. 22 in St. John Arena. The teams face off at 7 p.m. ET and admission is free.