Szerszen, Ohio State win back-to-back NCAA volleyball titles

COLUMBUS (AP) – Nicolas Szerszen led Ohio State to its second straight NCAA volleyball championship, hitting .480 and finishing with 16 kills and eight digs in the top-ranked Buckeyes’ 25-19, 25-20, 25-22 victory over BYU on Saturday night.

Ohio State (32-2) also beat BYU (26-5) in the title game last year.

Maxime Hervoir added 10 kills, with two errors, on 17 swings (.471) and four total blocks, and Christy Blough had 35 assists for Ohio State.

The Cougars, who came in ranked fourth in the nation in hitting percentage at .323, hit just .243 and looked out of sync from the start. They hit .043 with nine errors, including two in a row as Ohio State took a 3-0 lead, in the first set. Jake Langlois led BYU with eight kills, Brenden Sander added seven, and Leo Durkin had 24 assists. Ben Patch had six kills, three aces and four digs.

A kill by Langlois to open the third set gave BYU its first lead since 7-6 in the opening set and the Cougars didn’t trail again until back-to-back kills by Hervoir put Ohio State back in front for good at 11-10.

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