COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State middle blocker Matt Dorn had a bit of a surly attitude at the podium during Friday's press conference, expressing a feeling of disrespect prior to last year's NCAA championship match versus BYU.
“It seemed like last year when we played them that they didn’t respect us enough,” Dorn said, stating that winning the championship in convincing fashion, "was more to show them that we deserved to be there and show them that we’re good.”
If that disrespect was even there, Dorn and his teammates certainly used the motivation effectively. To the surprise of many, the Buckeyes took down the No. 1-seeded Cougars in straight sets.
According to Dorn, the feeling to prove Ohio State is still a top team remains.
“We just want to show them there’s a reason we won last year and show them that we’re still that team," he said.
A lot of Dorn's feelings may derive from where Ohio State is geographically. For years the West Coast has dominated men's volleyball, with Midwest teams such as Lewis, Loyola Chicago and Ohio State only recently showing the ability to rise to the top.
Regardless of where the feelings of being disrespected come from, count BYU coach Shawn Olmstead as one of the several surprised at Dorn's assertions.
“I don’t know where that would ever come from,” Olmstead said. “I have praised every opponent, up and down and over and over. I’ve been excessive, to be honest. If they felt that way, then that’s a bummer. I don’t think our guys carry ourselves that way.”
URBAN VERSUS COSMO?: Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer paid a visit to the Ohio State volleyball team on Tuesday with players and coaches listening ardently to the national championship-winning coach's thoughts.
“He was basically like, ‘Not a lot of teams go out and win a national championship, let alone repeat,’ so he was just like, ‘Keep the focus up and just go out and get it for us,'" Dorn said. “It was really cool to have the head coach of the university’s football team come and talk to us."
Ohio State coach Pete Hanson stated Meyer's message was primarily about coming together as a team.
“You need to ban together. You need to take care of each other and you need to close the circle,” Hanson related. “Not that you don’t want friends and family to enjoy the experience, but you want to make sure the 15 guys are taking care of the 15 guys.”
When asked of whom the Cougars may bring in to counter the speech given by Meyer, Olmstead laughed, shrugged and then suggested, "Cosmo? I really don't know."