The Ohio state men’s volleyball team came away with the team’s second all-time national championship on Saturday night, as the Buckeyes defeated the Brigham Young University Cougars in three sets.
At the time, BYU was the No. 1 team in the nation, while OSU was ranked second.
The Cougars were looking for their fourth national championship, but OSU coach Pete Hanson and his team had other plans.
Things got off to a hectic start for OSU, as both teams combined for 21 ties throughout the initial set.
Every Buckeye point was matched by BYU, and the teams battled to try and break the stalemate. After a tie at 20, the teams swapped points back and forth.
Finally, OSU was able to take the advantage and take the first set by a score of 32-30.
In the second, OSU was able to take down the Cougars in a much quicker fashion, winning the set 25-23.
An ace by Miles Johnson tied things up at 20 apiece, and a kill by the junior opposite tied things again at 21. The Buckeyes never relinquished the lead from that point on.
The set was owned by the Buckeye middles, as both redshirt freshman Blake Lesson and redshirt junior Driss Guessous had 10 kills total in the second frame.
In the third, the Scarlet and Gray got off to a quick start and never looked back.
After BYU scored the initial point, OSU tied things at 1-1, then took the lead off a Guessous kill. OSU would keep the lead, before taking the set 25-17.
Led by Johnson, who had a team high of 15 kills, the Buckeyes capitalized on 51 kills to the Cougars’ 34.
Junior setter Christy Blough had 44 assists while committing no errors throughout the contest.
National Player of the Year Nicolas Szerszen had a team-high three aces. The sophomore hitter was an instrumental part of the 31-2 season enjoyed by OSU.
Lesson had a team high .846 hitting percentage, and he picked up the winning kill for the team.
All six players who started the match for OSU played all three sets.
Hanson and his squad cap off a season for the record books with the hoisting of the team’s first title since 2011.