March 26, 2014

Weekend Notes


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s volleyball team returns to St. John Arena this weekend for a pair of MIVA matches. The Buckeyes host Quincy Friday in a 7 p.m. ET match and follow with another 7 p.m. ET match Saturday against Lindenwood.  

Both matches will be streamed at through Buckeye Vision. Subscriptions can be purchased by clicking HERE.

Friday, March 28 – 7 p.m. ET
Ohio State Buckeyes (8-13, 4-6 MIVA) vs. Quincy Hawks (12-12, 0-9 MIVA)
Saturday, March 29 – 7 p.m. ET
Buckeyes vs. Lindenwood Lions (19-6, 4-5 MIVA)

The Ohio State men’s volleyball team fell to No. 12 Ball State, 3-1 (26-28, 25-22, 22-25, 20-25), Sunday in Muncie, Ind.

Three Buckeyes in Andrew Lutz, Michael Henchy and Christy Blough totaled double-doubles in the match. Lutz led all attackers with 19 kills and added 10 digs for his second double-double of the season. Henchy picked up his third double-double with 13 kills and 11 digs, while Blough’s 49 assists and 11 digs made for his second double-double this year.

Freshman Miles Johnson totaled 13 kills and eight digs for the Buckeyes and libero Danny Baker finished with seven digs. Middle blocker Driss Guessous led the team with six blocks (2s, 4a).

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 489-98 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 396-103 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 252-81 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 stands at No. 12 and IPFW is ranked No. 14.

With career performances in California, redshirt junior Andrew Lutz sparked his offensive power and has resumed his role as offensive leader for the team. The opposite has a team-best 265 kills on the year with a 3.63 average. That mark ranks him third in the MIVA and 16th in all NCAA Division I-II.

The North Reading, Mass., product has registered 11 matches with double-digit kills, including a trio of contests with 20 or more kills. He first notched 20 kills at Penn State earlier this season (2/5). Lutz then totaled a career-high 29 kills against Cal State Northridge, March 15, after having 21 kills vs. No. 2 Long Beach State, March 14.

In MIVA-only play, Lutz ranks eighth with a 3.31 kills average and has 119 on the year. He has totaled five matches with double-digit kills against league opponents.

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 134 digs this season with a 1.72 average and his 1.97 average in league play ranks seventh. He has totaled four 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 1.41 and 1.25 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 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.

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 71 (21s, 50a) blocks on the season for .91 average. Neary, a junior from Ventura, Calif., is second on the team with a .70 average and has 51 (4s, 47a) 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 202 kills on the season and a 2.59 average. His .442 attack percentage is second in the MIVA and ranks sixth nationally. To be ranked, a hitter must average 3.0 attempts per set. Neary has a 1.12 kills average and is hitting a solid .414 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. The outside hitter has totaled seven double-digit kill performances, including five in the last six matches. He’s averaging 1.97 kills per set to rank fourth on the team. Johnson also ranks tied for first on the squad in service aces, having 19 overall.

Blough has started 14 matches at setter and has a team-best 630 assists with an 11.05 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 21 matches this season with 15 at libero. He is second on the squad with 127 digs and a 1.67 average.

The Quincy Hawks have a 12-13 overall record and are 0-9 in conference play. The Hawks are coming off of a 0-2 week, with losses to both Missouri Baptist and Lindenwood. The Hawks dropped to Missouri Baptist in five sets last Wednesday (25-18, 24-26, 23-25, 25-20, 16-14), and followed with a three-set loss to Lindenwood Saturday (25-19, 25-16, 25-17).

Sophomore outside hitter Ian Lawson leads the team with 261 kills and redshirt sophomore setter Brian Rogan has 900 assists. On defense, the Hawks are led by senior outside hitter Brian Peth with 191 digs and freshman middle blocker Jarrod Kelso with 77 blocks (18s, 59a).

Ohio State leads the series between the two squads, 46-2, and the Buckeyes are on a four-match winning streak. The two squads faced each other earlier in the season with Ohio State coming away with a three-set win (25-21, 25-18, 25-23).

The Lindenwood Lions stand at 19-6 on the season with a 4-5 mark in MIVA play. The Lions captured a pair of wins last week, hosting NJIT and conference foe Quincy in St. Charles, Mo. Lindenwood defeated NJIT in four sets (23-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-21) and followed with a sweep of the Hawks (25-19, 25-16, 25-17).

Junior Colin Hackworth ranks second in the MIVA with a 3.72 kills average and has 327 on the season. Setter Tim Schmidt is first in the league with an 11.22 assists average, while Scott Siwicki has a MIVA-best .456 attack percentage. Siwicki also ranks second in aces with a .60 average. Libero David Poole is fourth in the conference with a 2.29 digs average.

The Buckeyes hold a 3-0 lead in the series history as the two squads first met last season. Ohio State captured a 3-1 (25-18, 16-25, 25-22, 25-17) win earlier this season at Lindenwood.

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 589-316 overall at Ohio State in his 29 seasons and boasts a 252-81 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 remains in Columbus for a MIVA match vs. nationally-ranked IPFW. The Buckeyes and the Mastodons will face off at 7 p.m. ET in St. John Arena, April 4. The squad then travels to George Mason for a non-conference match, April. 6.