St. John Arena
410 Woody Hayes Dr. Columbus OH 43210
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Brenden Sander helped No. 3 seed BYU men’s volleyball upset No. 2 seed Long Beach State in straight sets (25-20, 25-18, 25-23) Thursday night at St. John Arena to advance to the national championship match of the NCAA Tournament.
“First of all, a huge congrats to Long Beach on their spectacular season,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I'm pretty speechless with this group of guys. Sometimes in coaching I get caught up in watching these guys compete. Just the performance that these guys put in tonight was incredible.”
Sander led the Cougars with a season-high tying 15 kills on a .619 clip. Leo Durkin set the team with 34 assists and Erik Sikes had eight digs. Jake Langlois contributed four aces and Tim Dobbert had 11 kills in the win.
Long Beach State (27-4) got off to a 4-1 lead in the first set against BYU (26-4), but the Cougars scored the next five-straight points to go up 6-4. BYU stayed ahead until a 3-1 spurt from the 49ers evened the score at 9-all. Sander’s fifth hit and kill helped the Cougars take a 16-13 advantage, and consecutive Long Beach State attack errors extended the BYU lead to four at 20-16. The Cougars cruised from there, taking the set 25-20 on another Sander kill.
Back-to-back-to-back aces from Langlois helped BYU get off to a 5-2 start in the second set. The Cougars were up by as many as four at 8-4 until the 49ers stormed back to get within one, down 10-9. A 4-1 Cougar run followed, capped off by a Joseph Grosh kill, to re-extend BYU’s advantage to four at 14-10. An ace from Wil Stanley forced Long Beach State into a timeout with the Cougars up 21-15. BYU then took the set 25-18 on a Grosh kill.
Sander got the third set started with an ace, but the 49ers came out strong after that, going up 9-5 on an ace. A trio of kills from Dobbert helped BYU get back within two, down 11-9, and a Sander kill kept the Cougars within striking distance trailing 15-12. An out-of-system kill from Dobbert forced a timeout from Long Beach State with the 49ers leading 19-17. BYU then tied the score at 22 following a Dobbert kill and block. A Langlois ace gave the Cougars set point and a final Sander kill ended the set and match 25-23.
The Cougars return to action at St. John Arena for the national championship match Saturday, May 6, at 7 p.m. EDT, against the winner of No. 4 seed Hawai’i and No. 1 seed Ohio State. The match will televised live on ESPN2.
PROVO, Utah—BYU men’s volleyball secured an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships Sunday, receiving the No. 3 seed.
BYU (24-4) will play No. 6 seed Barton (23-5) Tuesday, May 2, at 6 p.m. EDT. The Cougars have never faced the Bulldogs before. It will also be the first meeting for BYU against a Conference Carolinas foe.
Should the Cougars advance, they would face No. 2 seed Long Beach State (27-3) in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m. EDT.
Ohio State was given the No. 1 overall seed after going 30-2 overall, winning both the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season and tournament titles.
The Buckeyes will face the winner of No. 4 seed Hawai’i (26-5) and No. 5 seed Penn State (21-10) on Thursday, May 4, at 8 p.m. EDT. The play-in match between the Rainbow Warriors and Nittany Lions will be held right after BYU’s match on Tuesday, May 2, at 8 EDT.
The semifinal matches will be streamed live on NCAA.com, with ESPNU broadcasting the final match Saturday, May 6, at 7 p.m. EDT.
All matches will be played at Ohio State’s St. John Arena.
Long Beach State (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation), Ohio State (MIVA), Penn State (Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) and Barton (CC) all received automatic bids for winning their respective conference championships. BYU and Hawai’i received the two at-large bids.
All Session Prices: (includes both semifinals Thursday & championship Saturday)
- General Admission – Adult $25
- General Admission – Student/Youth $15
- General Admission – Group (minimum 10 people) $8
Single Session Ticket Prices:
- General Admission – Adult $15
- General Admission – Student/Youth $10
- General Admission – Group (minimum 10 people) $5
Opening Round Match Ticket Prices (Tuesday, May 2):
- General Admission – Adult $8
- General Admission – Student/Youth $5
Additionally, there will be a fan fest at the Ohio State Ice Rink, located next door to St. John Arena, Saturday, May 6, from 4-6 p.m. EDT. It is free to attend. There will be face painting, sign making and an autograph session (5-5:30 p.m. for the general public and 4:30-5 p.m. exclusively for group sales). The court will also be open to pepper.
To purchase tickets visit the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office, the Ticketmaster site, or call 1-800-GOBUCKS. The on-campus ticket office is open Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EDT.
Doors will open one hour prior to the first match each day. Parking in St. John Arena lots will be free for every match.