The two teams that have combined to win the last four NCAA championships will face each other during the upcoming season.
The Ohio State men’s volleyball Twitter account tweeted on Friday that the team has scheduled a home non-conference match against Long Beach State in 2020.
This will be the fifth consecutive year that the Beach and Buckeyes have played each other, including Long Beach State beating Ohio State in the 2018 NCAA Tournament semifinals. That match ended the Buckeyes’ attempt at a championship three-peat and helped the Beach begin its run of winning the last two NCAA titles.
Ohio State concluded an injury-plagued 2019 season in sixth place in the MIVA and lost in the conference tournament quarterfinals. Among the starters returning for the Buckeyes include All-American opposite Jake Hanes, who was third in the nation with a 4.36 kills per game average despite missing part of last season with an injury.
Kevin Burch also is entering his first season as the Ohio State head coach following the retirement of Hall of Fame coach Pete Hanson.
Long Beach State is a nation-best 56-3 during last two seasons en route to winning the program’s first national championships in more than 25 years. The Beach, though, will be replacing four All-American starters that concluded their college careers last season.
The Beach leads the all-time series 12-3, but the Buckeyes in 2017 won their last home match in the series.
Along with playing Long Beach State, Ohio State announced on Twitter it will have a non-conference home match against UC Santa Barbara in 2020. The Gauchos ended last season ranked No. 5 in the national coaches poll and narrowly missed the final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Both these matches and the rest of Ohio State’s home matches next season will be played in the new Covelli Center.