All-American outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen ensure the national championship trophy wasn’t leaving St. John Arena.
Szerszen had a match-high 16 kills and added two aces as the No. 1 seed Ohio State swept the No. 3 seed BYU 25-19, 25-20-25-20 in the NCAA Tournament finals to repeat as national champions on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
The Buckeyes playing in front of 8,205 became the third team this decade to win the NCAA championship on its home court. It also became the third program in the last 20 years to repeat as national champions.
Szerszen finished the match hitting .480 and was one of two Buckeyes with double-digit kills. Outside attacker Maxine Hervoir also add 10 kills on a .471 attack percentage and contributed a match-high four blocks against the Cougars.
All-American setter Christy Blough had 35 assists and guided the Ohio State offense to out-hit BYU .358 to .243. In addition, the Buckeyes had more than a .440 attack percentage in each of the final two games.
All-American opposite Ben Patch in the loss came off the bench and had six kills. He was the only BYU player to finish with at least five kills and a .300 attack percentage.
Ohio State completed the sweep behind Szerszen having a game-high nine kills on a .667 attack percentage in the third game.
BYU trailed 21-13 in the second game before going on a 5-0 run that included three aces from Patch, who came off the bench midway through the second game. However, the Buckeyes would maintain lead with kills from Blough and Hervoir to take the second game and a two-game lead.
All-American opposite Miles Johnson had six of his nine kills in the second game to lead all players.
With the opening game tied at 8-8, Blough had back-to-back aces to start a 10-2 run for the Buckeyes. Ohio State led by as many as eight points in the first-game victory and held BYU to a .043 attack percentage.
This is Ohio State’s third national championship in program history — all three coming since 2011. In addition, the MIVA have now won four consecutive NCAA championships and five titles this decade.