COLUMBUS, Ohio --The Ohio State University men's volleyball team punched its ticket to the 2017 NCAA Championships by blitzing Grand Canyon University in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) Tournament Finals. The Buckeyes sprinted past the Antelopes -- 25-16, 25-22, 25-11 -- to capture the 16th MIVA Tournament title in school history (a league high).
Six teams will be entered in the 2017 NCAA Tournament during Sunday's NCAA Selection Show, streamed on NCAA.com at 1 p.m. ET.
MIVA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Most Outstanding Player -- Miles Johnson, Ohio State
Christy Blough, Ohio State
Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State
Michael Milstein, Grand Canyon
Drake Silbernagel, Grand Canyon
Matt Walsh, Ball State
Jacob Schmiegelt, Lewis
Ohio State was a mission in the conference championship bout, outscoring GCU by 26 points and sending the `lopes home in just 71 minutes. It was a parting gift for Grand Canyon in their final match as a member of the MIVA, moving to the MPSF starting next season.
Christy Blough navigated the Buckeyes to a .464 team attacking efficiency, pushing 30 assists to his Buckeye brethren. Miles Johnson was the recipient of a team-high 11 terminated connections while hitting .348. Maxime Hervoir and Nicolas Szerszen each recorded nine kills and attacked .471 or better. Driss Guessous batted a 1.000, bouncing all seven of his attempts for kills.
Hervoir inflicted the most damage defensively, getting in on seven blocks including two solo stuffs. He posted a match-high 14.5 points, nearly twice as many as any member of the GCU squad. Blake Leeson was a force in the front court as well, rejecting the Antelopes five times.
Set 1: Ohio State got it going from the jump, dropping in 17 kills in the opening frame and leading from 4-3 through the set's duration. Blough divvied up 14 assists in the set to guide the Buckeyes to a 25-16 tone-setter.
Set 2: The night's most tightly-contested frame saw six tied scores and a pair of lead changes. Ohio State capped it off in comeback fashion. Trailing 19-16, the Buckeyes went on a 9-3 run to end it 25-22.
Set 3: Floodgates opened in the third. Ohio State surged ahead 12-2 by the time GCU was burnt out of timeouts already. The Buckeyes kept the pedal to the metal from there, putting up a 25-11 exclamation point.