One of the longest winning streaks in NCAA men’s volleyball history is over.
No. 1/1 Ohio State was held to a season-low .222 attack percentage as it lost to No. 6/6 UC Irvine 28-26, 25-19, 25-20 to end its 42-match winning streak.
The winning streak that stretched back to last season and included winning the 2016 NCAA championship was the longest in 56-year history of the MIVA. In addition, the Ohio State winning streak fell five matches short of the all-time NCAA men’s volleyball record set by UCLA both in 1979 and 1983-85.
Ohio State (19-1, 8-0 MIVA) entered the match second in the nation hitting .380. However, defensively UC Irvine libero Dillon Hoffman finished with a match-high 14 digs, while freshman middle attacker Matthew Younggren led all players with five blocks.
UC Irvine setter Michael Saeta in the non-conference victory had a team-high two aces and guided the offense to a .361 attack percentage. The Anteaters (16-6, 9-5 MPSF) also hit a match-best .500 and committed three attack errors in the final game to complete the sweep.
UC Irvine had three players finish the match double-digit kills, including outside attacker Aaron Koubi who had a match-high 13 kills on a .455 attack percentage. Opposite Thomas Hodges and All-American outside attacker Tamir Hershko each added 11 kills against the Buckeyes.
Despite the loss, Ohio State had nine aces — six more than UC Irvine.
All-American opposite Miles Johnson led Ohio State with 12 kills and added two aces. In addition, All-American outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen had a match-high three aces along with seven kills.
Both Johnson and Szerszen, though, were held to less than a .150 attack percentage.
UC Irvine had multiple lengthy offensive runs throughout the match.
The Anteaters overcame a 17-11 deficit in the opening game with a 7-1 run and then fought off a game-point before eventually winning in overtime. With the third game tied at 9-9, UC Irvine went on a 10-2 run behind the serving of Saeta and Hershko.
This is the second road victory against a top-five nationally ranked team for BYU this season. UC Irvine also upset No. 3/3 BYU in five games during the opening month of the season.