Tournament's over, What's Next?

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans | May 06, 2017, 11:08 p.m. (ET)

BYU 

COLUMBUS Ohio (May 6, 2017) – Even while their loss to Ohio State in the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship on Saturday at St. John Arena weighed heavy on their hearts, three members of the BYU volleyball team were looking forward to their summer plans; more volleyball.

Opposite Ben Patch and outside hitters Brenden Sander and Jake Langlois will all be training with the U.S. Men this summer at the American Sports Center in Anaheim, Calif. Patch and Langlois are on the FIVB World League preliminary roster while Sander will train for the Pan American Cup.

“I land tomorrow, drive down to Southern California and get ready for USA Volleyball,” Patch said after the championship match. “I have practice on Monday… I am ready to move on mentally and embrace this next level. I am ready to get better.”

Patch, who still has a season of eligibility left, has said that he will not return to BYU and will instead play volleyball professionally and try to make the 2020 Olympic Team.

“That was my last match ever as a Cougar,” he said. “This last year has been the most important year of my athletic career. I had a lot of opportunities to leave early. I got hurt and considered leaving to go play pro.

“I wasn’t sure if it was right to finish college. But now in this moment, even losing the National Championship, I feel like I made the right choice. I’ve grown mentally and physically. I persevered.”

Patch and Sander has both been in the USA Volleyball high performance pipeline and have played on youth and junior national teams. Sander said that experience has helped him in his college career.

“There is definitely a ton of different systems,” said Sander, who has one more season of eligibility at BYU. “Getting the experience gives me a wider range to perform.”

For Langlois, a senior who didn’t start playing volleyball until college, playing in the U.S. gym for the past two summers has been important.

“I haven’t had as many reps as most of these guys out here.” Langlois said. “Getting in these past two summers has been amazing to me; more passing reps, more serving reps and overall getting better.”

On the winning Ohio State side, senior setter Christy Blough, who has also played on USAV youth and junior national teams, said is going to medical school, but that his volleyball experience was still a valuable one.

“I think it’s prepared me in every way,” he said. “In time management, in life skills and in dealing with adversity. I medicine you always have to work with a team, so I think that’s the biggest thing I’ll take away.” 

For box scores and more tournament information, visit ohiostatebuckeyes.com