After a five-match home stand, the Ohio State men’s volleyball team is scheduled to hit the road.
OSU (7-7, 4-3) is set to travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., Wednesday to take on Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (10-3, 3-2).
The Buckeyes are preparing to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to Ball State last week.
“This is an important conference game for us to get back on track after dropping a match against Ball State,” redshirt-junior setter Peter Heinen said.
Junior outside hitter Michael Henchy said the team has been working on the same tactic they have been for the past few matches — staying in charge on the court.
“Since our last match, we haven’t focused on anything different, the goal is still to improve our level of play and increase our ability to control a match,” he said.
The Buckeyes and the Mastodons split matches in the 2013 season, and the final meeting ended with an IPFW victory in five games on its home court. OSU is prepping for another aggressive match.
“It is going to be a big match for them (IPFW), they want to show Ohio State, that they are ‘for real,’” coach Pete Hanson said.
The Buckeyes are ready to step up their game and perform at the higher level, Henchy said.
“They play with a lot of passion so it will be important to try and match them in that category and beat them with our focus and aggressive attack,” he said.
After having five home matches in a row, OSU has to get in the right mindset and be prepared to tune out the opposing fans, Heinen said.
“They are always very tough to play in their home gym because they play with a lot of emotion and the crowd really gets into it,” he said.
Hanson said IPFW is considered a “veteran team.” The Mastodons sport 10 upperclassmen on their roster compared to nine for OSU.
“They are a pretty solid volleyball team right now, they have been playing a lot of young guys the past couple of years and now I would consider them a veteran team that has been playing together for a long time,” Hanson said.
Finding a way to work together and become more comfortable with each other is something the Buckeyes will have to do to succeed over the Mastodons, Hanson said.
“We are trying to create more opportunities for our top seven guys to just continue to play together and get comfortable with one another and that is just a long, evolving process when you are talking about basically putting five new guys on the floor that have never been together with two older guys … it just takes a period of adjustment,” he said.
First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.