The team that ended the Ohio State men’s volleyball team 2012-13 campaign could be the one who the Buckeyes get their season back on track against.
The No. 14 Buckeyes (5-6, 2-2) are set to host Grand Canyon as they continue their five-match homestand at St. John Arena. The Antelopes (6-7) defeated OSU, 3-2, in a Men’s Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Quarterfinal match that ended its season. A chance at revenge lies with the Buckeyes, with two matches against the Antelopes slated to start at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
“They’re a strong team with a lot of returners so I expect them to play really well together,” junior outside hitter Michael Henchy said. “Last time we played them, we lost in five sets and no one has forgotten that. It’s going to be a fun match to play in.”
In the last meeting between the two teams, OSU led 2-1 after three sets, but Grand Canyon stormed back to win the final two and take the match.
“They came out with a lot of fire and played like they had nothing to lose and ended up beating us. Everyone was in shock at the outcome of the game and it was because we took them very lightly. We can’t let that happen again,” senior middle blocker Jonathan Newton said.
OSU is preparing to start off strong against Grand Canyon and hopefully take early control of the match. Newton said the Buckeyes can’t underestimate Grand Canyon like they did previously.
“They are going to come out and put up a good fight. If we let them get an early jump on us then we could be in trouble. We will be able to control the game if we stop their momentum from the beginning,” Newton said.
After taking some time to get some rest away from the gym this past Sunday and Monday, Newton said the Buckeyes have been working on themselves this week, instead of worrying about what the other team is going to bring to the court.
“This game has a lot to do with how Ohio State plays. If we can focus on our side of the net and bring a lot of energy, then it’s going to be hard for any team to beat us in our home gym,” Newton said.
OSU coach Pete Hanson said the Buckeyes will do what they can to prevent a repeat of last season’s tournament loss.
“We have continued to become better as a unit and not to mention, our returning guys have a little bit of an edge to them, because of what happened last year in the playoffs. We are ready to send the message that it is not going to happen again, especially in St. John Arena,” Hanson said.