The opening of any college season brings the chance for fresh faces to make an impact, if given the opportunity.
The same could be said for the Ohio State men’s volleyball team, who is looking to get freshmen playing time in its first two home games of the 2014 season this weekend.
“The biggest thing right now is just getting the new guys more experience,” said redshirt-junior opposite Andrew Lutz.
With eight freshmen joining the team this year, the Buckeyes are expecting to keep improving and get the new guys more comfortable on the court starting Friday at 7 p.m. against Lees-McRae and Saturday against George Mason at St. John Arena.
“I think we just need to get on the court and give some of the new guys some confidence,” Lutz said.
The Buckeyes fell short at the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Invitational in Hawaii last weekend. OSU went 0-3 in the tournament, falling to then-No. 14 Hawaii, then-No. 7 UCLA and then-No. 11 Penn State.
Coach Pete Hanson said the weekend in Hawaii was a learning experience for the whole team.
“We took 14 players to Hawaii, and nine of them had never been there before, and so I think when you have that many new faces, it is just a true learning experience,” Hanson said.
The team took advantage of the tournament and used it as a great opportunity to gain skills against teams it will be seeing at the end of the season during playoffs, Hanson said.
The Buckeyes are going to be focusing on themselves instead of worrying about other teams this season, Hanson said.
“I think the slogan for this season is ‘It’s going to be about us.’ It’s how we play and not worrying so much about who the opponent is and what they have and don’t have,” Hanson said.
After a long weekend in the Pacific, the Buckeyes are set for the season ahead and excited to be back on their home court.
“We are going to play hard, with lots of energy,” junior outside hitter Michael Henchy said.
Although Henchy said the team is ready for the rest of the year after three tough outings in Hawaii, the focus of the team is on both Lees-McRae and George Mason, and not underestimating their potential.
“They are excited and fired up for the season and especially to play a school like Ohio State,” Henchy said.