Speaking for myself – I should be ashamed. The Ohio State Men’s Volleyball team, the 2016 National Champions are on the path to repeat. And I have not noticed. But, with that confession – I have now circled in on their wondrous plight to repeat – and I will gladly be one of the vessels to get this out to the rest of the congregation of Buckeye Nation that was in the dark as I was.
Ohio State is currently 13-0 and is holding tight on the number one spot in the rankings nationally, but a little noticed fact – they are also listed high up in nearly every statistical category. OSU is the national leader in kills (13.91/set), as well as in hitting percentage (.380) and also in assists (12.93/set). The Buckeyes ranks 2nd in the NCAA 2.60 blocks/set (2nd), 1.93 aces/set (3rd) and an opponent hitting percentage of .189 (5th). Indeed, a well-deserved notice to take.
On the individual side of the equation, there are three Buckeyes that can be seen in the Top-10 list of at least one NCAA statistical category. Miles Johnson’s 5.49 points per set is the number one spot in all of the land. Nicolas Szerszen’s 5.09 points/set is 4th nationally. Szerszen also leads a category of his own, posting an NCAA-best .74 aces per set. Both Buckeye pin hitters rank highly in kills/set as well with Johnson slotted third (4.62) and Szerszen coming in at seventh (4.09). Johnson rounds out his impressive numbers attacking .442; this is the ninth-highest rate in the country. In addition, Christy Blough’s 11.48 assists/set have not only assisted the Johnson-Szerszen offensive attack, but has shined throughout the entire NCAA.
The latest AVCA Division I-II Coaches (released Feb., 13, 2017) looks like this:
RANK SCHOOL POINTS RECORD PREVIOUS
1 Ohio State (24) 360 13-0 1
2 Long Beach State 334 11-2 2
3 BYU 313 10-2 3
4 Hawai’i 285 12-2 5
5 UCLA 262 10-4 4
6 Stanford 222 8-4 8
7 Lewis 215 9-3 6
8 UC Irvine 187 9-5 7
9 Pepperdine 172 5-4 9
10 Loyola-Chicago 147 7-4 10
11 Ball State 129 11-2 11
12 UC Santa Barbara 90 6-7 12
13 Penn State 76 8-4 14
14 CSUN 49 9-5 13
15 George Mason 46 5-5 15
In the Buckeyes season thus far they have beaten the #2 team, Long Beach State back on Jan., 28th 3-1; the #5 team, UCLA on Jan., 7th 3-1; the #6 team, Stanford in back-to-back matches on Jan., 13th & 14th, both handing them 3-0 losses; the #10 team, Loyola-Chicago on Feb., 11th (their last match) 3-0; the #11 team, Ball State on Feb., 2nd 3-0; the #13 team, Penn State on Jan 24th, 3-0; and # 15, George Mason, way back on Jan., 10th, 3-0.
Ohio State has secured the league’s offensive player of the week accolade in four of seven weeks so far in this season. In one of the weeks where the Buckeyes did not log the offensive side of the ball, Gabriel Domecus ensured the Buckeyes was still in the conversation. He’d pick up the MIVA Defensive Player of the Week laurels.
The last loss that the Buckeyes have recorded was back on Feb., 6th of 2016 against Ball State. They currently are going into Friday’s match (Feb., 17th) at St. John’s Arena (7:00 p.m.) against Quincy (3-8) with a 36-game winning streak. This marks the longest winning streak in OSU Athletics history for teams competing in head-to-head competition. In competition against Quincy the Buckeyes are an impressive 51-2 overall. This includes being 31-0 at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes have dropped only 14 sets in 53 meetings dating back to the original battle which took place in 1993.
Pull up a seat and watch the Men’s Volleyball genius roll on. As I mentioned it is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Friday the 17th at St. John’s Arena. You can check it out on BTN Plus, or online at http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
Let’s not miss out on a phenomenal moment in Buckeyes history as one of our sporting teams repeat as the National Champs. It’s all in the making.