Ohio State named college men’s volleyball National Program of Decade

Photo courtesy of Ohio State athletics

A nation-best three national championships since 2010 helped led to Ohio State earning the most prestigious All-Decade honor.

A nationwide voting committee selected Ohio State as the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball National Program of the Decade that was announced Sunday on Off the Block.

Ohio State in 2011 won its first NCAA championship in program history as it defeated UC Santa Barbara in five games in the NCAA Tournament finals. In addition, Ohio State won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2016 and 2017 and swept BYU in the finals both years.

The Buckeyes under Hall of Fame coach Pete Hanson finished with a combined 216-85 record during the decade and at least 20 victories in seven seasons. It also both won the MIVA championship and reached the NCAA Tournament semifinals five times in the last 10 years.

Among the Buckeyes’ accomplishments this decade included setting a MIVA record with a 42-match winning streak that stretched from the 2016 to 2017 seasons. The winning streak was the third longest in NCAA men’s volleyball history and the longest for any Ohio State sports program competing in head-to-head matches.

A Buckeye won the MIVA Player of the Year six times during the decade — setter Steven Kehoe in 2010-11, opposite Shawn Sangrey in 2012 and outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen in 2016-18. Szerszen was the first three-time recipient of the conference award and in 2016 became the first Buckeye to win the National Player of the Year.

The voting committee for the National Program of the Decade was comprised of volleyball coaches and volleyball media members from around the nation.

The top-three vote-getters were selected as finalists, while the team with the most votes was named the overall award winner.

Ohio State received 30 votes to edge out the runner-up Long Beach State by eight votes. The other finalist Loyola finished in third place with five votes.

Off the Block coordinated the National All-Decade Awards. Along with the National Program of the Decade, Off the Block presented the National Player of the Decade, the National Team of the Decade, National Coach of the Decade and the National All-Decade Teams.

Off the Block is a national award winning website that was established in 2011 and is the nation’s leader college men’s volleyball coverage.

National Program of the Decade voting results

1. Ohio State — 30 votes
2. Long Beach State — 22 votes
3. Loyola — 5 votes
4. UC Irvine — 4 votes
5. BYU — 3 votes
6. Stanford — 2 votes