USA

05. 05. 2018

NCAA M: Long Beach kick out 2-time defending champs Ohio to play block-masters UCLA for title

Source: grfx.cstv.com, uclabruins.com, youtibe.com/Orange County Register; Photo: longbeachstate.com

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Long Beach State advanced to their first 2018 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship Finals in 14 years.

 

The Big West Conference winners and also the top-seed Long Beach State 49ers (27-1) eliminated two-time defending national champions Ohio State Buckeyes (25-6, MIVA winners) from the NCAA Semifinals.

The 49ers beat their rivals in four sets, partially 25-22, 25-23, 25-27, and 32-30, at Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, the home ground of the UCLA. Junior opposite Kyle Ensing topped Long Beach State with 24 points, while junior middle blocker Nick Amado made 5 kill blocks out of 18 kill blocks his team recorded in total. Freshman opposite Jake Hanes scored tallied 26 points (4 aces) for Ohio State.

The 49ers will play their seventh NCAA finals (won only one national title, in 1991), the first since 2004, in which they will face Round of 6 hosts UCLA Bruins.

The Bruins (26-7, at-large) progressed to their first national title encounter since 2013 by kicking out second-seed BYU Cougars (22-7, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champions) with a four-set win, partially 21-25, 25-23, 19-25, 21-25.

Senior opposite Christian Hessenauer and sophomore from Canada, Daenan Gyimah, delivered 22 points apiece for the UCLA, including 7 and 6 kill blocks, respectively. As a team, Bruins made 22 kill blocks. Freshman opposite from Puerto Rico, Gabi García Fernández, scored 20 points for BYU.

Interestingly, the UCLA seized the NCAA title in 9 of the previous 10 championship matches held at their Pauley Pavilion (only loss was in 2005). Overall, the UCLA will play for their 20th national title.

 

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