BYU junior opposite hitter Ben Patch has hinted that he’ll “probably” turn pro after his junior season with the Cougars, according to multiple reports by the Salt Lake City Tribune.
Patch will turn 23 this summer, making him older than most college seniors – having missed the 2014 and 2015 seasons to complete his mission in Columbus, Ohio.
Patch is already breaking through to the U.S. National Team system, having been selected no fewer than 11 times in his career (albeit never for Olympic or World Championship play). He was most prominently a member of the 2015 U.S. indoor team for the Pan Am Games in Toronto and also played in the 2016 World League. At the junior ranks, he was named the MPV of the 2012 NORCECA men’s U21 championship.
The 6’9″ Provo native was a first-team All-American last season, and has continued to be BYU’s top hitter this year, when healthy. Patch missed BYU’s MPSF conference quarterfinal win against Stanford on Saturday. That’s his 13th missed game of the season, most of which came in an 11-game stretch mid-season while battling a groin injury.
BYU head coach Sean Olmstead said that Patch “was available” for Saturday’s game. BYU is 13-0, having lost only 2 sets in the 13 games that Patch has missed.
Patch is a 6’9″ (203cm) opposite who hits at 144 inches (365cm) and blocks at 140 inches (355cm). Those numbers rank him among the highest touches in the U.S. men’s National Team system.
Patch’s season-by-season stats are below:
Highlights of his BYU rally-era record-setting 35 kills against UC Irvine as a freshman in 2013: