BYU volleyball: No. 6 BYU upends No. 1 Ohio State in 5-set ‘fun’ match

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

FILE: BYU’s Leo Durkin and Jake Langlois (10) walk arm-in-arm as they celebrate their 3-set victory over Stanford at Smith Field House in Provo on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a rematch of last season’s NCAA title match, No. 6 BYU men’s volleyball upset No. 1 Ohio State in five sets (21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 15-8) behind team play Saturday night at St. John Arena.

“This was a fun match to be a part of from start to finish,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I’m proud of how the team responded after the first set to come back and get the win.”

Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the Cougars with 19 kills and six blocks. Leo Durkin had 42 assists and Erik Sikes contributed eight digs. Brenden Sander collected 12 kills, Price Jarman added nine kills and Miki Jauhiainen had six blocks in the win.

BYU (3-1) collected the first three points of the decisive fifth set from Fernandez and Sander kills and a Fernandez ace. Ohio State (2-1) quickly evened the score at 4-4, however, following a block. The Cougars again took the lead at 10-5 following a 5-0 run, before running away with the set and match, 15-8.

Ohio State jumped out to a 7-4 lead early in the first set after a BYU attack error. A Fernandez ace brought the Cougars back within a point, down 10-9, but the Buckeyes scored six of the next eight points to go up by five, 16-11. A slew of Ohio State service errors kept BYU in the set as a 4-1 Cougar run brought BYU back within two, 20-18, forcing a timeout from the Buckeyes. Ohio State quickly regrouped, winning 25-21 after hitting .739 for the set.

Back-to-back Fernandez kills gave the Cougars a 2-1 edge to start the second set. Kills from Durkin and Sander then increased the BYU lead to 7-4. The Cougars led by as many as four, 10-6, before the Buckeyes got within a point, 13-12, on an ace. BYU rattled off the next three points, capped off by a Jauhiainen and Fernandez block, to take a 16-12 lead. Ohio State took its final timeout of the set before the Cougars jumped ahead 23-16. The Buckeyes scored the next three points, but BYU took the set, 25-21, on an Ohio State service error.

A Fernandez block and kill pushed…

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