April 2, 2014

Weekend Notes


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s volleyball team faces a pair of tough opponents this weekend in No. 14 IPFW and George Mason. The Buckeyes host MIVA rival IPFW Friday night at 7 p.m. ET in St. John Arena. Ohio State then takes to the road for a match at George Mason Sunday beginning at 4 p.m. ET.  

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Friday, April 4 – 7 p.m. ET
Ohio State Buckeyes (10-13, 6-6 MIVA) vs. No. 14 IPFW Mastodons (17-6, 6-5 MIVA)
Sunday, April 6 – 4 p.m. ET
Buckeyes at George Mason Patriots (11-11)

The Ohio State men’s volleyball team picked up a pair of MIVA wins in St. John Arena this past weekend. The squad defeated Quincy Friday night in four sets (25-15, 27-29, 25-13, 25-18) and followed with a 3-2 (20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 15-11) win over Lindenwood Saturday.

Junior outside hitter Michael Henchy led the Buckeyes, having 30 kills for a 3.33 average and 18 digs for a 2.00 average on the weekend. Highlighting the weekend was his performance against Lindenwood Saturday. Henchy picked up his fourth double-double of the season against the Lions with 19 kills and 12 digs, while tying a career high in blocks with six (2s, 4a).

Redshirt freshman Driss Guessous had a great match offensively against Lindenwood, totaling 14 kills and hitting .722 (14-1-18) against the Lions. Junior Dustan Neary put together a career-best performance Friday vs. Quincy as he finished with seven block assists.

The team reached a season high in blocks Friday against Quincy, finishing with 14.5 (3s, 23a) collectively.

Historic St. John Arena has been home to the Ohio State men’s volleyball team since the program started in 1968. The Buckeyes have amassed a record of 491-98 in 46 years and have totaled six undefeated seasons at home.

In its 46th season in the league, the Ohio State men’s volleyball program has an impressive 398-103 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 254-82 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.

Ohio State is receiving votes in this week’s AVCA Division I-II Coaches Top 15 poll. Loyola continues to sit atop of the poll at No. 1, while Lewis is No. 11, Ball State is tied for No. 12 and IPFW is ranked No. 14.

Five Buckeyes have totaled double-doubles this season with junior outside hitter Michael Henchy leading the way with four so far. The Ventura, Calif., product recently totaled a double-double against MIVA rival Lindenwood, having 19 kills and 12 digs against the Lions.

Freshman Christy Blough and redshirt junior Andrew Lutz each has a pair of double-doubles this year. Blough picked up his first against Cal State Northridge (57 assists, 11 digs) and followed with another at Ball State (49a, 11d). Highlighting Lutz’s performances was his 29 kills and 12 digs against CSU Northridge.

Redshirt junior Peter Heinen had a double-double at home against Ball State with 47 assists and 11 digs. Freshman outside hitter Miles Johnson earned the first of his career at Long Beach State, totaling 11 kills and 11 digs.

The Buckeye back row has put together big numbers as of late for the Ohio State defense. Leading the way for the squad is junior outside hitter Michael Henchy. The Ventura, Calif., native has a team-best 152 digs this season with a 1.75 average and his 1.98 average in league play ranks seventh. He has totaled five double-digit dig performances this year, including a season-high 15 at Long Beach State.

Freshmen Miles Johnson and Christy Blough have put together career dig numbers recently and the pair is averaging 1.42 and 1.22 digs per set, respectively. Each has two performances with double-digit digs this year. Classmate Gabriel Domecus has three matches with double-digit digs, while junior Andrew Lutz also has three.

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 79 (23s, 56a) blocks on the season for .91 average. Neary, a junior from Ventura, Calif., is second on the team with a .76 average and has 62 (4s, 58a) blocks.

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 223 kills on the season and a 2.56 average. His .448 attack percentage is second in the MIVA and ranks fifth nationally. To be ranked, a hitter must average 3.0 attempts per set. Neary has a 1.15 kills average and is hitting a solid .420 at the net.

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

Johnson, who hails from Carlsbad, Calif., has stepped up offensively for the Buckeyes. The outside hitter has totaled seven double-digit kill performances, including five in the last eight matches. He’s averaging 1.92 kills per set to rank fourth on the team. Johnson ranks first on the squad in service aces, having 21 overall.

Blough has started 17 matches at setter and has a team-best 717 assists with an 11.86 average. He’s reached 50 or more assists five times this season and has two double-doubles (assists/digs) so far. Domecus has started in 19 of the team’s 23 matches this season with 15 at libero. He is second on the squad with 130 digs and a 1.59 average.

A handful of Buckeyes reached career marks at the Active Ankle Classic in Long Beach, Calif., March 14-15.

Highlighting all performances was redshirt junior Andrew Lutz‘s offensive production against Cal State Northridge. 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.

The No. 14 IPFW Mastodons are 17-6 overall and 6-5 in conference play. The Mastodons are coming of a 0-2 weekend, snapping a four-match winning streak. IPFW dropped a five-set match to No. 11 Lewis (25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 18-16) and followed with a three-set loss to conference rival and No. 1 Loyola (25-20, 25-13, 25-22).

Sophomore opposite Andrew Sellan leads the team in kills with 265 and averages 3.12 per set. Junior setter Omar Rivera has 860 assists and sophomore libero Luis Bertran has 164 digs. Junior middle blocker Ramon Burgos has 61 blocks (2s, 59a) and classmate Bryan Saunders follows closely with 55 (0s, 55a).

Leading the series between the two squads is the Buckeyes, 69-35. The two teams met earlier in the season with the Mastodons coming away with a five-set win (22-25, 25-22, 27-29, 25-23, 15-10).

The George Mason Patriots are 11-11 on the season and 5-5 in the EIVA. The squad concluded last weekend 1-1, opening with a five-set win over St. Francis Friday (20-25, 25-23, 25-17, 21-25, 15-11). The squad closed out competition with a three-set loss to Penn State Saturday (25-18, 25-17, 25-18).

On defense, junior middle blocker Hunter Stevens leads the EIVA in blocks per set with 1.31 and has 100 (12s, 88a) on the season. Senior libero Dave Lucas has 139 digs and averages 2.14 per set. Offensively, freshman outside hitter Radoslav Popov has 192 kills, while Stevens has 145. 

The series between the Patriots and the Buckeyes is tied at 25-all. Ohio State topped George Mason earlier in the season in St. John Arena, earning a three-set sweep (25-23, 25-22, 25-19). The Patriots will take on Rutgers Friday before the Buckeyes.

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 591-318 overall at Ohio State in his 30 seasons and boasts a 254-82 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 close out the regular season at home, hosting No. 1 Loyola in St. John Arena, April 11. The match is set for 7 p.m. ET and the team will honor four seniors prior to the match – Danny Baker, Peter Heinen, Jonathan Newton and Michael Piechowski.