Check out the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament opening-round matches to follow today and how to follow them live.
Ohio State (22-9, 11-3 MIVA) vs. King (16-15, 8-6 ConfCarolinas)
Match vitals: 6 p.m. in Fairfax, Virginia
Follow live: Live stats, Live video (ESPN+)
How they reached the NCAA Tournament: Ohio State defeated Lindenwood, McKendree and Ball State in the MIVA Tournament to earn the conference’s automatic bid. King defeated Mount Olive, Erskine and North Greenville in the ConfCarolinas Tournament to earn the conference’s automatic bid.
All-time series: Ohio State leads 2-0
Last meeting in series: Ohio State swept King in 2020
NCAA Tournament appearances: Ohio State (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2023); King (2018, 2023)
NCAA Tournament record: Ohio State (16-23); King (0-1)
NCAA championships: Ohio State (2011, 2016, 2017); King (none)
Ohio State player accolades this season: Jacob Pasteur (MIVA Player of the Year, First-Team All-MIVA); Shane Wetzel (MIVA Newcomer of the Year, Second-Team All-MIVA); Cole Young (First-Team All-MIVA)
King player accolades this season: Warren Davis (First-Team All-ConfCarolinas); Kellan Kennedy (Second-Team All-ConfCarolinas); Justin Sawyer (Third-Team All-ConfCarolinas)
What to know: No one in the nation had an offensive performance during the conference tournaments like Warren Davis. The outside attacker and King, though, will now face their toughest test so far this postseason – Ohio State. Davis had a combined 70 kills in three conference tournament matches to help lead the Tornado to their first ConfCarolinas championship and NCAA Tournament appearance since 2018. In addition, Davis had a season-high 29 kills in the ConfCarolinas Tournament finals as King upset the top-seed North Greenville in five games. This was the third time in the last four matches and the sixth time this season that Davis had more than 20 kills. Davis is one of two Tornado players among the ConfCarolinas leaders in kills. The outside attacker is third in the conference with a 3.77 kills per game average, while Jackson Carroll is averaging 2.64 kills per game. Ohio State is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2018 after upsetting Ball State in the MIVA Tournament finals. Outside attacker Jacob Pasteur is third in the MIVA and in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.86 kills per game average, including having 19 kills in the conference finals. Pasteur, who spent the offseason playing with the U.S. Men’s National Team at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, is in the conference’s top 10 both hitting .320 and averaging 0.36 aces per game average. Ohio State enters the NCAA Tournament on an 11-match winning streak and is undefeated since making a switch at setter and reinserting Michael Wright into the starting lineup. Wright has guided the offense to more than a .300 attack percentage in nine matches during the winning streak. Ohio State is undefeated all-time against ConfCarolinas schools, including sweeping King in the NCAA Tournament opening round since 2018. This also will be the first NCAA Tournament match for the Buckeyes under coach Kevin Burch, who replaced retired Hall of Fame coach Pete Hanson at the end of the 2018 season.