For the third time in school history and the second time in as many years, the Ohio State men's volleyball team finished the season on top.
The Buckeyes defeated BYU for the second straight year in the NCAA title game, taking the 2017 title in straight sets on their home court at St. John Arena in front of 8,205 on Saturday night.
Ohio State and BYU opened by splitting the first 16 points before the Buckeyes went on their first run of the match. Christy Blough delivered back-to-back service aces before the Cougars cut the deficit to one on a kill from Jake Langlois.
After a BYU service error on the ensuing serve, Ohio State's Nicolas Szerszen stepped to the service line and put the Buckeyes in front. OSU went on a 4-0 run to push its lead to 16-9 and eventually won the first set, 25-19.
The Cougars failed to take the lead in the second set, as Ohio State used a 75 percent attacking percentage to open a 21-13 lead on BYU. After the Cougars went on a 5-0 run to cut the Buckeye lead to three, OSU rattled off four of the next six points to take the set 25-20 and a commanding 2-0 set lead.
The third set featured a back and forth affair that saw the two teams split the first 20 points. Back-to-back kills from Maxime Hervoir and Szerszen gave the Buckeyes a 12-10, and Ohio State did not trail for the rest of the match.
The national title for Ohio State is its third in program history, all of which have come in the last six years. The Buckeyes won their first title in 2011 under current head coach Pete Hanson.
Szerszen, who is the reigning NCAA Player of the Year, was named NCAA tournament Most Valuable Player after smashing a title game best 16 kills.
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