NCAA Volleyball: Top-ranked Cougars will face Long Beach State in semifinals

May 3, 2016

The NCAA men’s volleyball semifinals are set.

Long Beach State and Ohio State won play-in games at Penn State’s Rec Hall on Tuesday to set up Thursday’s semifinals. Top seed BYU (26-3) will take on Long Beach State (25-7) in the first semifinal and No. 2 seed UCLA (25-6) will play Ohio State (29-2) in the nightcap.

The championship is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. MT on ESPN2.

The Cougars and 49ers met twice in Long Beach during the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season. BYU won the first match 3-1 and LBSU came back to claim a 3-0 victory on the second night.

UCLA and Ohio State met earlier this season – ironically, at Rec Hall for a tournament – and the Bruins took a 3-1 victory in that match.

In the first play-in match on Tuesday, No. 4 seed Long Beach State dispatched No. 5 Erskine 25-14, 27-25, 25-20 to advance. T.J. DeFalco led the 49ers with 14 kills on 21 swings with just one error (.619) and Kyle Ensing added 11 kills. In winning Set 3, LBSU had 13 kills on 18 swings with zero errors for a hitting percentage of .722. As a team, Long Beach State hit .528.

Mike Michelau led Erskine (20-7) with 14 kills and Roberto Vargas had 11, but the Flying Fleet hit just .183 as a team.

In the second play-in match, No. 3 Ohio State recovered from losing the first set to take care of No. 6 George Mason 22-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-21. Nicolas Szerszen was an offensive force for the Buckeyes with 20 kills (.381) and Miles Johnson contributed 17 kills.

Jack Wilson topped George Mason (18-12) with 18 kills.

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