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Ohio State volleyball can extend their win streak to 40 matches this weekend

To get there, the Buckeyes need to take down the Grand Canyon Antelopes.

2008 NCAA National Volleyball Championship Semifinals Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

“After winning 38 straight games, a school record among all teams competing head-to-head, the challenge for the Buckeyes moving forward will be maintaining such a high level of success.”

Aliyyah Jackson on OSU volleyball, The Lantern

Ohio State volleyball has taken the country by storm. Last year, they took down UCLA and BYU en route to national championship. This year, the Buckeyes have maintained the momentum and are riding a 38-match win streak.

This weekend the No.1 Buckeyes travel to Phoenix to take on Grand Canyon University. The trip to the desert will be a twofer, as the Bucks play the Antelopes on Friday and Sunday. More importantly, OSU has a chance to pull away in the MIVA (conference) standings. Buckeye head coach Pete Hanson has led the defending national champions to a 6-0 mark in the conference, however, the ‘Lopes are sitting at 5-1 in the MIVA—and can take control of the conference with a series sweep.

While it may seem doable on paper, beating the Buckeyes is a tall task to ask. The last time Ohio State dropped a match was on Feb. 6, 2016, and since then, the Bucks have taken 84 percent of sets. Against GCU, OSU has an all-time record of 13-2, including a 5-1 record on the Antelopes home court. If the Buckeyes can win both games in Phoenix, then they would become just the sixth team in Div I-II to have a win streak crossover the 40-win plateau.

The first of these two contests takes place at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. If you want to catch the action, you can do it by streaming the game through YouTube. Below is the embed to watch the game.

Game two between the Bucks-Lopes will be at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday. That game is also on YouTube. Here’s the link.

“The young kids behind them are making noise. Mack and Victor were both true freshman last year and both played. They could be the top two wideouts come fall.”

Ari Wasserman on the potential impact of OSU wide receivers Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor, cleveland.com

As we creep closer and closer to the NFL Draft, the realization that some of the talent on Ohio State’s playoff team last year will, in fact, not be coming back. On the receiving end, Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson and Noah Brown have declared their entrance in the pursuit of being the next professional football star. That means there will need to be new stars rise up for the Buckeyes offense for 2017.

That call may be answered by Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor. Ari Wasserman of cleveland.com wrote about the burning question that is Ohio State’s depth at WR.

For Mack, he came to OSU in 2016 after being graded as a four-star wide out in high school. As a freshman, Mack received a bevy of compliments from the coaching staff, which in turned create some noise for him to potentially break into a starting WR role, according to the article from Wasserman. Victor, while not getting the same kind of attention as Mack in the early going, began to pick things up as the season progressed. The culmination for Victor last season was breaking off a 21-yard reception against Clemson in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

While the Buckeyes have established receivers in Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill and Terry McLaurin, it wouldn’t hurt to have a breakout sensation in either Mack or Victor for the 2017 campaign.

“It will be important to get all the coaches on the same page, as there has been a lot of transition. The offensive staff has a new look. Urban Meyer saw co-offensive coordinators Ed Warinner (Minnesota) and Tim Beck (Texas) leave,”

Tom Dienhart previewing OSU football, Big Ten Network

Again, we focus on OSU football. Tom Dienhart at BTN wrote a preview on Meyer’s machine in Columbus, Ohio, and concluded three things the Buckeyes need to watch out for in the spring.

First, Dienhart pinpointed on the receiving core. Already, in Wasserman’s piece in cleveland.com, the topic of Buckeye pass catchers were talked about. However, Dienhart touched on two more, equally important topics: the secondary and chemistry.

Once again, the OSU secondary has been purged by the lures of the NFL Draft. While the leap is made (and stars are born), the Buckeyes are left having to refill the cupboard with A1 talent. So far, that hasn’t been a problem, but filling shoes of Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley isn’t an easy task.

On chemistry, Dienhart made a good point that the coaching staff is going to need to be on the same page, considering Tim Beck and Ed Warriner have departed the program. The new additions of Bill Davis and Ryan Day bring an NFL mindset to an elite college program, but adjustments, like always, will need to be made in order to make the OSU football program a fine-tuned machine.

The first peak at the state of the football team will be at the spring game on April 15.

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