Jacob Pasteur, a senior with the OSU men’s volleyball team, looks like he has superpowers on the court. From serving the ball 80 mph to leading the team in kills and aces, the All-American is etching himself into the Buckeyes’ history books.
So how did he get here? Let’s dig in.
“I found a flier for volleyball towards the end of 8th grade, and that was a sport I hadn’t tried yet,” Pasteur said. “The flier didn’t specify if it was for men or women, and I ended up being the only guy there.”
This adventure led to him becoming a manager, where he would shag balls and practice with the team. Eventually, he found himself attending more open gyms in his freshman year of high school and becoming more physical with his game.
In his sophomore year of high school, Pasteur started playing club volleyball. By the time he was an upperclassman, Ohio State and Penn State had both shown interest in him as a player.
“I came to Ohio State on my visit with a completely open mind,” Pasteur explained. “The facilities are fantastic, but that’s not what blew me away. It was the people, faculty, and staff. Their support for student-athletes and enthusiasm and passion for their jobs is what made blew me away. I was very excited to push myself academically in the Fisher College of Business. I felt right at home.”
It also helped that Kevin Burch was going to be his head coach. Coach Burch had won seven national championships in a row.
“I figured he knew a thing or two about volleyball,” Pasteur joked.
As a Buckeye, Pasteur explained it’s not always the big moments, but all the tiny little memories that make it so special — like moments his family could watch him shine, or time spent with his teammates.
“My oldest brother, Isaiah, ended up playing for the Yankees, so I really enjoyed the first couple of games my freshman year that he was able to come to,” he told us. “I’ve also just really enjoyed getting to know all my teammates and their different personalities.”
When it comes to men’s volleyball, Pasteur wants people to know it’s all about physicality.
“We have people that are almost 7 feet tall jumping 30+ inches,” he said. “It’s one of the games you have to see in-person to understand its physicality. The ball moves quickly, it’s exciting, it’s very fast-paced. Fans think it’s awesome when they come to their first game, even if they don’t fully understand what’s happening.”
In his final year as a Buckeye, he’s not interested in individual accolades, but rather making sure his team is successful.
“Ultimate goal would be a national championship. My only goal right now is to give it everything I have. I want to stay in touch with where my feet are and give my teammates and the crowds everything I’ve got.”
Although his Buckeye career will come to an end in 2024, his future in volleyball is bright.
“I want to continue to train with Team USA,” he explained. “I would like to make an Olympic roster, that is the ultimate goal. I’m looking to go play professionally as well. I want to play it as long as I love it. I want to continue to play with the passion and joy that I have at the highest level that I can.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.