Sure, it’s a big college football game today between Ohio State and Penn State, but the men’s volleyball rivalry between the two schools has been equally intense.
The only two men’s volleyball programs from Big Ten schools do not play in the same conference. However, the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions in non-conference meetings have produced several memorable moments in recent years.
Check out this breakdown of the top matches between Ohio State and Penn State since the rally scoring era started in 2001.
No. 13 Penn State def. No. 1 Ohio State 25-21, 14-25, 25-15, 22-25, 15-12
March 28, 2017
Back-up setter Nathan Smith starting because of injuries guided the offense to a .308 attack percentage in the final three games as Penn State beat Ohio State in five games. All-American outside attacker Chris Nugent in the victory contributed a match-high 19 kills on a .515 attack percentage This comeback win also was the first time since 2006 that the Nittay Lions defeated a No. 1 ranked team.
No. 4 Ohio State def. No. 6 Penn State 30-28, 22-25, 25-19, 21-25, 15-6
March 19, 2016
All-American opposite Miles Johnson had a match-high 23 kills while hitting .476 to help Ohio State pull off the five-game road victory. In addition, outside attacker Alex Judkins had back-to-back aces as part of a 6-1 run in the decisive fifth game.
No. 10 Penn State def. No. 11 Ohio State 22-25, 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 15-9
March 21, 2015
Future U.S. Olympian and All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell had both a match-high 30 kills on a .458 attack percentage and 14 digs in the five-game victory. Outside attacker Jalen Penrose also had a career-high 19 kills, including the match-winning kill as Penn State ended the fifth game on a 8-3 run.
No. 12 Penn State def. No. 14 Ohio State 29-37, 22-25, 31-29, 25-15
Feb. 5, 2014
Penn State overcame a five-point deficit late in the third game and then fought off a match-point before winning in overtime. The Nittany Lions also had a kill from opposite Nick Goodell in the 12-point overtime session. Goodell finished the match leading all palyers with 20 kills on a .533 attack percentage.
No. 9 Ohio State def. No. 13 Penn State 25-20, 25-17, 25-20
March 16, 2013
Ohio State committed four attack errors during the entire match and finished with a season-high .478 in a sweep against the Nittany Lions. In addition, middle attacker Grayson Overman led all players with eight blocks as the Buckeyes out-blocked the Nittany Lions 13 to 0.
No. 6 Penn State def. No. 9 Ohio State 25-17, 25-19, 27-29, 22-25, 15-13
March 3, 2012
Penn State rallied from a two-point deficit against Ohio State midway through the decisive fifth game to extend its season-long winning streak to 11 matches. All-EIVA middle attacker Nick Turko had a career-high five aces and added six kills while hitting .417. Despite the loss, All-American opposite Shawn Sangrey had match-high 24 kills along with contributing 12 digs and four blocks.
No. 3 seed Ohio State def. No. 2 seed Penn State 25-18, 24-26, 25-22, 25-23
May 5, 2011 | NCAA Tournament semifinals
Four Buckeyes finished with double-digit kills as Ohio State on the road defeated Penn State in the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Outside attacker John Klanac led the Buckeyes with 16 kills, while opposite Shawn Sangrey added 15 kills and six blocks to help Ohio State reach the NCAA finals. Ohio State two days later defeated UC Santa Barbara in five games to win its first of three NCAA championships so far this decade. The semifinal match remains the last time Ohio State and Penn State have played each other in the NCAA Tournament.
No. 14 Ohio State def. No. 6 Penn State 30-25, 20-30, 30-27, 30-23
March 21, 2010
Ohio State became the first team since 2006 to defeat Penn State at Rec Hall with its upset non-conference victory. The Nittany Lions out-hit the Buckeyes .314 to .283, but Ohio State had a match-best .429 attack percentage in the fourth game to complete win. In addition, middle attacker Ted Schoenfeldt had eight kills on a .545 attack percentage along with a match-high five blocks versus the Nittany Lions.
No. 7 Penn State def. No. 11 Ohio State 30-21, 30-21, 30-27
April 18, 2009
Pen State in its regular season finale defeated Ohio States to complete the three-match season-series sweep. The Nittany Lions finished with a .500 attack percentage — the second time that season they hit at least .500 against the Buckeyes. Future U.S. Olympian and All-American middle attacker Max Holt in the road victory also had 13 kills and zero attack errors on a .812 attack percentage.
No. 1 seed Penn State def. No. 4 seed Ohio State 30-21, 26-30, 30-22, 30-17
May 1, 2008 | NCAA Tournament semifinals
All-American opposite and future U.S. Olympian Matt Anderson finished with a match-high 30 kills while hitting .469 as Penn State defeated Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Penn State out-hit Ohio State .410 to .108, including holding the Buckeyes to a negative-.049 attack percentage in the final two games. In addition, Penn State then defeated Pepperdine in the NCAA Tournament finals to win its second national championship in program history.
No. 8 Ohio State def. No. 6 Penn State 20-30, 30-27, 19-39, 30-20, 15-13
April 4, 2007
Despite blowing a four-point lead early in the decisive fifth game, Ohio State recovered to beat Penn State. Middle attacker John Albertson in the victory finished with a match-high nine blocks. He also had 13 kills, including the match-winning kill.
No. 11 Penn State def. No. 14 Ohio State 30-24, 30-21, 28-30, 34-36, 15-12
April 4, 2006
Opposite Matt Proper had a career-high 29 kills on a .444 attack percentage as Penn State earned the non-conference road victory. This was the second time during the season that Proper had more than 25 kills against Ohio State. The Nittany Lions in the decisive fifth game had a match-best .462 attack percentage and led by as many as four points.
No. 9 Ohio State def. No. 11 Penn State 22-30, 30-24, 30-27, 31-33, 17-15
Jan. 20, 2006 | Outrigger Invitational
In a match that lasted almost three hours, Ohio State won in a fifth-game overtime following a controversial non-call. Ohio State fought off two match-points and then in the decisive fifth game overtime took one-point lead on a kill. Penn State, though, disputed the play with the officials arguing there was a foot-fault on the serve. The Buckeyes after the call stood completed the comeback victory three points later to win the match. Ohio State in the decisive fifth game committed one attack error and had a match-best .611 attack percentage. In addition, Ohio State opposite Stuart Katz led all players with 28 kills. Penn State middle attacker Nate Meerstein finished with 21 kills on a .613 attack percentage, while opposite Matt Proper added 27 kills in the non-conference loss.
No. 3 Penn State def. No. 12 Ohio State 30-32, 30-25, 30-20, 30-21
April 3, 2005
Five Penn State players finished with double-digit kills as the Nittany Lions rallied from a one-game deficit to beat the Buckeyes and complete the three-match season-series sweep. Setter Dan O’Dell in the victory had 60 assists and guided the Nittany Lions to out-hit the Buckeyes .460 to .248. In addition, middle attacker Nate Meerstein led Penn State with 16 kills on a .519 attack percentage.
No. 9 Penn State def. No. 14 Ohio State 30-23, 30-15, 30-26
March 28, 2003
Penn State in one of the more lopsided victories in the recent series history had a .635 attack percentage as it swept Ohio State. Setter Dan O’Dell guided a Penn State offense that committed six attack errors the entire match — 17 fewer errors than the Buckeyes.