Feb. 24, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 5 Ohio State University men’s volleyball team concludes the February portion of its competition slate by hosting Pfeiffer University Friday night at 7 p.m. in a rescheduled event (Jan. 23) which was postponed due to Winter Strom Jonas. The St. John Arena clash pits the freshly-minted Top-5 Buckeyes vs. 2015 NCAA Tournament participant Falcons.
HISTORY WITH THE FALCONS
Ohio State and Pfeiffer met for the very first time last season, resulting in a four-set victory for the Buckeyes (25-22, 28-26, 20-25, 25-18) in St. John Arena. The Falcons would go on to a season mark of 21-4 and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance.
SZERSZEN KEEPS ROLLING ALONG
Nicolas Szerszen continued his domination this week of MIVA Offensive Player of the Week standing, picking up his fourth such recognition through the first two months of the 2016 season. Add in Miles Johnson’s selection for the same award last week, and Ohio State owns 62.5 percent of the MIVA Offensive Player of the Week accolades this season (five of eight). Szerszen, a sophomore, is already a six-time recipient of MIVA weekly awards in his career — doing so twice as a freshman as well.
It’s no wonder Szerszen has accounted for half of the league’s 2016 offensive awards thus far as he ranks in the top-5 nationally for kills, points and attacking efficiency. His .44 aces/set rate is also slotted inside the MIVA top-5.
BUCKEYES, NITTANY LIONS TO MEET ON B1G STAGE
The Big Ten Network is rolling into town on Tuesday, April 5, to showcase Ohio State’s home match versus B1G adversary Penn State. Match time has been moved back to 8 p.m. ET to accommodate the national television broadcast.
VIDEO: 'Moments with Mitch – Feb. 25' … In need of a few laughs today? Check out this week's episode —> https://t.co/YFbhUerlif
— OSU Men's Volleyball (@OhioState_MVB) February 25, 2016
ALL SMILES FOR MILES
Miles Johnson became the 15th Buckeye in school history to earn AVCA National Player of the Week honors on Feb. 16 after lifting Ohio State to road sweeps over two-time defending NCAA champion Loyola and reigning MIVA champs Lewis on back-to-back evenings. He attacked .446 while averaging 5.50 kills, 1.00 aces and 6.58 points per set for the week. Johnson is the first Scarlet-&-Gray-clad National Player of the Week since Shawn Sangrey was recognized on the national stage in 2012 (March 6).
Ohio State entered the week as the nation’s top attacking squad, hitting a team percentage of .367 in NCAA matches (McMaster match not recognized by NCAA). That swinging rate ranks first in the entire country. The Buckeyes are also averaging 1.98 aces per set; good for second-best.
Individually, Nicolas Szerszen is slotted top-15 in several different categories: 5.03 points/set (4th), 4.34 kills/set (5th), .422 attacking efficiency (5th) and .47 aces/set (13th). Christy Blough’s 11.12 assists per set come in seventh on the national stage while Christian Franceschi’s .52 aces/set and Miles Johnson’s .50 aces/set rate are seventh and ninth, respectively.