Ohio State will get tested on the road early in the upcoming season.
The defending-NCAA champions Ohio State announced Monday that its road opener will be a two-match non-conference series against Stanford on Jan. 13-14 in California.
This will be the first meeting since 2012 between the two programs that have combined to win four national titles. In addition, both the Buckeyes and Cardinal ended last season in the top 10 of the national rankings.
Ohio State concluded the 2016 season on a 23-match winning streak as it swept BYU in the NCAA Tournament finals to win the program’s second national title in the last six years. The Buckeyes also three all-conference starters from that championship team, including the 2016 AVCA National Player of the Year and 2016 Karch Kiraly Award recipient Nicolas Szerszen.
Stanford two years removed from reaching the NCAA Tournament finals narrowly missed the final at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Despite losing two All-American starters to graduation, the Cardinal returns Evan Enriques who won the 2016 Erik Shoji Award as the nation’s top libero.
The Buckeyes will play a program-record seven regular season non-conference matches against MPSF schools in 2017, but this series will be their only road matches versus that conference.
Stanford leads the all-time series 9-1 with its only loss to Ohio State occurring at their inaugural meeting in 1981.