BYU beat Long Beach State to reach NCAA volleyball final

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) Brenden Sander had 14 kills and no errors on 24 swings and top-ranked BYU beat Long Beach State 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18 on Thursday night in the NCAA volleyball semifinals.

Ben Patch added 13 kills for the Cougars (27-3). They will face second-ranked Ohio State in the final Saturday night. The Buckeyes outlasted UCLA 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 18-16 in the second semifinal.

''I just want to say hats off to Long Beach State,'' BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. ''I anticipated a great match and it was. They're a well-coached team. They pushed our players. It was a fun match to be a part of. I was happy with our boys' composure after losing that second set and going into the third. We made some really good decisions from there.''

The Cougars won titles in 1999, 2001 and 2004.

TJ DeFalco led Long Beach State (25-8) with 23 kills and had eight digs and three blocks.

''We are incredibly proud to have been here,'' 49ers coach Alan Knipe said. ''This is exactly where we wanted to be and we like where we're going. We would have liked to have played better tonight, but unfortunately that didn't happen. We weren't able to keep (BYU) out of system long enough, or stay in system long enough ourselves.''

Miles Johnson had 20 kills for Ohio State (30-3), and national player of the year Nicolas Szerszen added 15. The Buckeyes have won 22 straight matches. They won their lone title in 2011.

Jake Arnitz led UCLA (25-7) with 18 kills. The Bruins won the last of their record 19 titles in 2006.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.