February 4, 2019

Rare Tuesday Night Match for the Buckeyes

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University men’s volleyball team (4-5, 0-1 MIVA) is taking a day trip to Fort Wayne on Tuesday, Feb. 4, for a 7 p.m. ET conference match against the 15th-ranked Mastodons of Purdue Fort Wayne (6-4, 0-0 MIVA).

HISTORY WITH THE MASTODONS
The Buckeyes first faced Purdue Fort Wayne (formerly known as IPFW and Fort Wayne) in 1980. The four-decade long conference rivalry has spanned 115 matches with Ohio State owning a 78-37 advantage all-time. The last nine meetings have all gone in favor of the Scarlet & Gray since 2015 (dropping just one set during that stretch). In Fort Wayne, the series gap tightens up as Ohio State’s edge is 26-22.

FRESHMEN FILLING IN ADMIRABLY
Three true freshman stepped into the starting lineup last weekend when Parker Mikesch, Ethan Talley and Sean Ryan were called upon to play in every set.

Mikesch, a libero by trade, took over setting duties with the injury bug infecting Ohio State’s setter group. He dished out 53 assists (13.25/set) in the win over Lincoln Memorial, steering the Buckeye offense to a .328 team hitting percentage.

Talley has started the last three matches and his attacking .500 (18-4-28) for the season while posting 1.07 blocks/set during his rookie campaign.

Ryan peeled his redshirt against Saint Francis and registered 2.67 kills per set for the weekend, the second highest mark on the team. He added 17 digs and nine blocks to his debut weekend totals.

BUCKEYES ON THE BIG TEN NETWORK
Ohio State Men’s Volleyball hosts conference foe Loyola Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live to a national audience on the Big Ten Network. The contest was originally schedule for the day prior.

ELDER STATESMAN
No active player in D I-II NCAA Men’s Volleyball has played in more matches or has a higher career hitting percentage than Blake Leeson. The fifth-year Buckeye senior has logged 106 matches and is attacking .463 for his career. He also ranks second among active players with 340 blocks, just nine stuffs back from UC Irvine’s Scott Stadick and his 349 rejections entering the week.

HALL OF FAME HANSON
Pete Hanson will be among a group of 25 volleyball legends and stars of the sport who will be inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame as presented at the Dorothy C. Boyce Banquet on May 22 in Columbus, Ohio.

Enshrinement is nothing new for the Ohio State head coach, previously inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame (2017) and American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame (2015).

NCAA’S LEADING SCORER RESIDES IN COLUMBUS
Jake Hanes is averaging 6.06 points and 5.32 kills per set through the season’s first four weeks, both averages pacing the NCAA.

Buckeye setter Sanil Thomas is quite familiar with being atop the heap of a statistical category after leading the country with 11.28 assists/set in 2018. Thus far in ‘19, Thomas comes in at No. 7 nationally with 10.24 assists/set.