Szerszen powers Ohio State past Loyola for third straight MIVA title

Photo courtesy of Ohio State athletics.

The MIVA championship three-peat is complete. Now onto the NCAA championship three-peat thanks to All-MIVA outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen.

Szerszen had a match-high four aces and added 12 kills on a .417 attack percentage to help Ohio State sweep Loyola 25-20, 25-23, 25-19 in the MIVA Tournament finals on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

The two-time defending NCAA champions Ohio State out-hit Loyola .307 to .244, including having a match-best .500 attack percentage in the third game to secure the conference championship. Szerszen, the 2018 MIVA Player of the Year, also was one of three Buckeyes with double digit kills.

Freshman opposite Jake Hanes finished with 13 kills against the Ramblers. In addition, outside attacker Maxime Hervoir had 11 kills and two aces.

Along with their offensive performances, both Szerszen and Hervoir led the Buckeyes defensively with a nine digs.

Loyola middle attacker Jeff Jendryk in the loss was held to four kills on a .143 attack percentage and one block. Jendryk, a finalist for the Ryan Millar Award, returned for his senior season after an offseason of playing for the United States in the 2017 FIVB World League.

Outside attacker Collin Mahan led Loyola with nine kills and hit .421. Mahan, though, was the only Rambler to have at least five kills and more than a .150 attack percentage.

This postseason match featured the winners of the last four NCAA championships. Loyola repeated as national champions in 2014 and 2015 before Ohio State won the title the last two years.

Ohio State enters this upcoming NCAA Tournament with a chance to win its fourth NCAA championship this decade.

2018 MIVA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

Setter: Sanil Thomas, Ohio State
Opposite: Jake Hanes, Ohio State
Opposite: Ricky Gevis, Loyola
Outside attacker: Collin Mahan, Loyola
Middle attacker: Matt Walsh, Ball State
Libero: Michael Simmons, Lewis

MIVA Tournament Most Outstanding Player: Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State