Ohio State for the first time in its 43-year program history is the national champion.
Ohio State defeated UC Santa Barbara 20-25, 25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 15-9 in the men’s volleyball NCAA championship match on Saturday in University Park, Pa., to become the first Midwest school to win the national title.
Buckeye setter Steven Kehoe was named the NCAA Tournament MVP as he guided the offense to out-hit the Gauchos .329 to .198. In addition, four Ohio State players finished the match with at least 10 kills, including outside attacker Shawn Sangrey who had a match-high 30 kills.
UC Santa Barbara will take its historic postseason run all the way to the national championship match as it upset USC in four games in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Thursday in University Park, Pa.
UC Santa Barbara coach Rick McLaughlin along with outside attacker Jeff Menzel, libero Andy McGuire and middle attacker Scott Slaughter conducted a news conference Wednesday heading into their NCAA Tournament match.
The No. 4 seed UC Santa Barbara will play the No. 1 seed USC in the NCAA Tournament semifinals at 7 p.m. Thursday in University Park, Pa.
The Gauchos (17-14, 11-11 MPSF) defeated three top-five ranked teams in the conference tournament to become first No. 7 seed to ever in the MPSF Tournament and advance to the Final Four.
Coach Rick McLaughlin and his UC Santa Barbara team main goal entering this season was to make the MPSF Tournament — it was a lofty goal given the program’s recent history.
The No. 6 Gauchos had missed the eight-team conference tournament for the last five years — the third longest active streak in the MPSF. With six conference matches remaining, though, UC Santa Barbara (11-8, 9-7 MPSF) is in sixth place in the MPSF and poised to qualify for its first postseason tournament since 2006.
In addition, UC Santa Barbara has been ranked as high as No. 3 this season. It is also the only team in the nation to have two players, Jeff Menzel and Cullen Irons, ranked in the nation’s top 20 for kills per game average.