(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 3 seed BYU men’s volleyball fell to No. 1 seed Ohio State in straight sets (25-19, 25-20, 25-22) Saturday night at St. John Arena in the national championship match.
"Congrats to Ohio State on an outstanding season," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "They definitely played a better volleyball match than we did tonight. I feel for these guys. I wish it was a different result, but it's not. How we handle these losses will show a lot about us as a team."
Jake Langlois led the Cougars with eight kills. Leo Durkin contributed 24 assists and Ben Patch added six kills and three aces.
Ohio State (32-2) got off to a 5-2 lead in the first set after a few miscues from BYU (26-5). The Cougars then went on a 5-1 run to take a 7-6 advantage, but the Buckeyes countered with a 10-2 rally to go back up 16-9. A Langlois kill helped BYU go on a 5-1 run to get back within five, trailing 20-15. Ohio State closed out the set 25-19, however, on a Cougar service error.
Three kills from Tim Dobbert helped keep BYU in the second set, trailing 8-7 early. The Buckeyes then went on a 5-1 run to take a 13-8 lead. A 4-0 Ohio State run gave it an 18-11 advantage, forcing a Cougar timeout. Patch picked up three aces at the service line for BYU, bringing the Cougars back within three, down 21-18. The rally proved too late as the Buckeyes took the set 25-20 on a BYU attack error.
A Langlois overpass kill got things started in the third set. The teams traded shots back-and-forth as a Brenden Sander kill gave the Cougars a 10-9 edge. A Kiril Meretev ace kept BYU within one, down 16-15, but a 7-3 Ohio State run ensued to give it a 23-18 lead. With Patch at the service line, the Cougars scored consecutive points on overpass kills to get back within two, 23-21. Again, the rally wasn’t enough as the Buckeyes won the set and match 25-22.
Ohio State collected the national championship for the second-consecutive season with the win. Following the conclusion of the match, Sander was named to the all-tournament team.