No. 8 BYU survives five-set thriller over No. 15 Ohio State Saturday Night

23mVLB vs Ohio State 3-11 149 (1)23mVLB vs Ohio State 3-11 149 (1)

PROVO, Utah — No. 8 BYU men's volleyball defeated No. 15 Ohio State in five sets (25-23, 25-15, 14-25, 23-25, 15-7) Saturday night in front of 5,071 fans, the second-highest attendance in the Smith Fieldhouse over the last five years.

After a hot start in which the Cougars took a two-set lead, the Buckeyes stormed back to force a decisive fifth set as they recorded 11 and 14 kills in the third and fourth sets respectively. Outside hitter Luke Benson took charge of the fifth set as he recorded three kills and a block en route to a 15-7 win in set five to earn the five-set victory for BYU. 

“Dropping the third and fourth set really fired us up,” said Benson. “We really needed the fifth set so we locked in and let that frustration fuel us to go out and bring it home in the fifth.”

The Cougars outhit the Buckeyes .328 to .223 on the night and bested them in kills 57-52. BYU was led offensively by Benson and Miks Raminis. Benson carded a career-high 18 kills while Raminis added 16 to propel the Cougars to victory. Trent Moser's 11 kills and two service aces also gave BYU an offensive boost. 

Set One

The Cougars jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the first set with two kills by Benson helping propel BYU to the early advantage. The Buckeyes applied pressure but the Cougars led 15-13 at the first media timeout. 

Ohio State saw its first lead of the match after the timeout, as they led 16-15. But BYU took the lead right back and led 18-16 following a service ace from Benson. The Cougars led 24-21 before the Buckeyes scored two straight points trailing by just one, 24-23. BYU converted on their third set point with Benson securing the 25-23 win in set one. 

Set Two

An 11-6 lead for the Cougars early in the second set forced an Ohio State timeout as BYU was outhitting the Buckeyes .625 to .083 in the set. 

Following a kill and service ace from Moser, the Cougars forced Ohio State to call its second timeout as BYU led 17-10. After the timeout, BYU continued to extend its lead and won the set 25-15. The Cougars outhit the Buckeyes .643-.087 in the second to take a 2-0 advantage in the match.

Set Three

The Buckeyes jumped on the Cougars 5-2 in the third set and extended their lead to 7-3 before a BYU timeout. Ohio State’s five kills to the Cougars’ two was the difference early in the third. 

OSU continued to find success as they led 14-5, forcing BYU to call another timeout. Following the timeout, the Buckeyes stretched their lead to 21-9 before they ultimately won the set 25-14.

BYU was outhit by Ohio State .280 to .091 but still led the match 2-1. 

Set Four

The fourth set began with the Cougars and Buckeyes trading points until the score was knotted at eight. Later in the set, Ohio State took a 15-12 lead before the media timeout.

Following the timeout, BYU scored four-straight points to even the score at 16 leading to a Buckeye timeout.  The teams went back and forth after the timeout as BYU and OSU were tied at 18.

Ohio State regained the lead at 21-20 before a timeout was called by BYU. The teams continued to exchange points before the Buckeyes evened the match, winning the set 25-23.

Set Five

A kill from Romans got things started for the Cougars as they led 1-0 early in the final set. Later, Back-to-back kills from Benson gave BYU a 6-3.

The Cougars stretched the lead to 8-4 as a kill by Moser brought the Cougar fans to their feet. With BYU leading 13-6, a dump kill from Haine gave the Cougars their first match point. It took two match points, but a kill by Moser off the block earned BYU a 3-2 win over Ohio State.

BYU will return to action in two weeks, Friday, Mar. 24 against Pepperdine in the Smith Fieldhouse. The match will begin at 7 p.m. MDT, with live coverage on the BYUtv app.