Wednesday, 7 June 2023

International Volleyball

NCAA men’s volleyball preview: Tourney begins with Ohio State vs. King

NCAA men's volleyball preview: Tourney begins with Ohio State vs. King

The National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship begins Sunday at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, with what the NCAA is calling its “Opening Round Match 1” when sixth-seeded Ohio State of the MIVA plays seventh-seeded King of Conference Carolinas.

The winner advances into Tuesday’s “Opening Round Match 3” against third-seeded Penn State of the EIVA. Earlier Tuesday, fourth-seeded Long Beach State plays fifth-seeded Grand Canyon in “Opening Round Match 2.”

All times are Eastern:

Sunday, April 29
Ohio State vs. King, 6 p.m., ESPN+

Tuesday, May 2
Long Beach State vs. Grand Canyon, 5 p.m., ESPN+
Penn State. vs. Ohio State-King winner, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+
Thursday, May 4
UCLA vs. Long Beach-GCU winner, 5 p.m.,
Hawai’i vs. Penn State/OSU-King winner, 7:30 p.m,
Saturday, May 6
Championship match, 5 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN3 (Español)

Read how they got there in last Sunday’s NCAA roundup.

Ohio State is making its 22nd appearance in the NCAA tourney, while King is in for the second time. In its only other appearance, the Tornado lost to Ohio State in 2018. That was also the time the Buckeyes were in and they  advanced to the title match before falling to Long Beach State.

Ohio State, which beat Ball State in the MIVA championship match, is 16-23 all-time in the NCAA tournament and won the crown in 2011, 2016 and 2017.

King got this far the hard way. The Tornado, seeded third in the Conference Carolinas tournament, had to pull of a reverse sweep against Mount Olive in the quarterfinals, and then swept second-seeded Erskine in the semifinals before going five to win the final over top-seeded North Greenville to win the league’s automatic bid.

Ohio State celebrates beating Ball State and winning the MIVA title/Ohio State photo

Top talent in the middle

Setter will be a point of interest with the likes of Hawai’i’s Jakob Thelle, Penn State’s Cole Bogner and UCLA fab freshman Andrew Rowan. Outside hitter offers a parade of talent that includes — but certainly is not limited to — Ohio State’s Jacob Pasteur, Long Beach State’s Sotiris Siapanis, Grand Canyon’s Camden Gianni and King’s 6-foot dynamo Warren Davis.

But it’s tough to overlook — and look over — the dynamic middle blockers who will be part of the drama.

“I don’t think they’re getting overlooked by the coaches as we prepare to deal with that,” said Charlie Wade, coach of two-time defending…

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