(Photo courtesy The Lantern)
March 11th, last Saturday the Buckeyes historic streak (42 wins in a row) came to an end. The 6th ranked UC Irvine (15-6 overall) came into Columbus and handed the Buckeyes their first loss in 399 days. They would take the Buckeyes in three-straight sets (28-26, 25-19, 25-20).
We knew it would eventually happen. It always does. An end to a winning streak. (Wonder when the Women of UConn’s basketball dynasty will cease their streak and by whom?)
During the Buckeye’s streak, which is the MIVA’s all-time longest, tied for the third best in NCAA history (that being UCLA of 47 straight in both 1979-80 and then duplicating that again in 1983-85; and hitting 42 in 1981-83). This streak also marks the longest win-streak in Buckeye’s history for any sport. The last loss for the Buckeyes was back on February 6, 2016 – which accounts for 399 days. The Buckeyes have won 126 of 152 sets (83%) during this monstrous run. These wins have included six wins over Top-5 opponents and 18 against Top-12 ranked teams.
In this loss, the Buckeyes with one loss fell in the polls to number two. Long Beach State has moved up to number one – with two losses – and a loss to the Buckeyes in head-to-head competition back on January 28th 3-1 in Columbus. GO FIGURE! (Haters exist in all sports, I reckon!).
The Buckeyes will now square off on the road in Chicago against two ranked teams. Tomorrow the 16th they go up against the 10th ranked, 6-3 in MIVA play, Loyola. On Saturday, the showdown will be against the 7th ranked Lewis, they have a 9-2 MIVA mark. Both matches are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The Loyola match will be seen on ESPN3, while the Lewis match can be seen online.
Ever since Pete Hanson has been Head Coach of the Men’s Volleyball squad (1985), come Saturday against Lewis will mark his 1,00 match as the OSU General. In 998 matches, Coach Hanson has an overall winning percentage of .665 (664-334) which includes a 288-90 (.762) mark within the MIVA. He has been named the National Coach of the Year four times and has guided the Buckeyes to two National Titles, 25 MIVA regular season championships and 15 MIVA Tournament titles.
This match tomorrow is important. It will be coming off their first defeat in 399 days. But I suspect that Coach Hanson will have these ‘Champions’ heads screwed on right. The march to their 2nd NCAA Title, back-to-back, all begins tomorrow in Chicago. As I mentioned turn in at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN3. This team deserves the support. They own that Buckeye pride, determination, and did I mention the winningest streak of any sport in OSU history?