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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Libero Mitchel Worthington’s defense helped No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball beat No. 14 CSUN in four sets (26-24, 25-15, 22-25, 26-24) Friday night at the Matadome.
“We had another great team win tonight,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Each one of these guys showed a ton of heart and fight. I'm proud of the way they battled back to take the first and fourth sets.”
Worthington collected a career-high 14 digs in the win. Ben Patch led the Cougars with 24 kills while hitting at a .415 clip. Joseph Grosh and Price Jarman each had three blocks. Leo Durkin contributed 47 assists and Brenden Sander had a season-high 15 kills on the night.
A pair of Patch kills helped BYU (6-1, 2-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) take a 3-2 lead in the first set against CSUN (6-3, 1-3 MPSF). A pair of Kiril Meretev kills helped the Cougars on a 5-0 run to go up 8-5, but a Matador block eventually tied the set at 12-all. A 3-1 CSUN run then prompted BYU to take a timeout, trailing 17-15. Another 4-1 rally by the Matadors quickly pushed them ahead 22-18, but three-straight CSUN errors put the Cougars within a point, down 22-21. BYU ended the set on a 5-0 run as a Grosh kill followed by a Sander kill won the close set 26-24.
A Jarman kill put the Cougars up 5-3 to begin the second set. A Durkin and Jarman block extended the BYU advantage at 13-8, forcing a Matador timeout. A kill from Patch kept the Cougars up 19-13, and BYU finished the set on a 6-1 run to easily win by double digits, 25-15.
The two teams remained close to start the third set, as a Sander kill gave the Cougars a 6-5 edge. A Meretev kill extended the lead to three at 10-7, but CSUN rallied with a 5-1 run to take a 12-11 lead. The teams were tied 16-all after a Patch kill, and another Sander kill put BYU up 20-19. The Matadors then scored the next four of five points to take a 23-21 advantage before winning the set 25-22 on a kill.
CSUN took a quick 6-1 lead to start the fourth set after several Cougar miscues. BYU clawed its way back to tie the set at 9-9 following a Durkin kill. A 3-0 Matador rally put them ahead 13-10, but a Patch and Jarman block capped off a 5-1 Cougar run to put their team up 16-15. BYU took a 22-20 lead after a couple of quick points, but CSUN countered with a 4-1 rally to collect set point, 24-23. The Cougars turned things around, however, as three-straight points gave BYU a 26-24 set four win.
The Cougars return home next week, facing UC Irvine Friday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. MST. The match will be broadcast live on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio. Links to live stats and video/audio feeds can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.
PROVO, Utah – No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball hits the road again this week, traveling to face No. 14 CSUN on Thursday and Friday to begin Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play.
Last Time Out
The Cougars swept McKendree in the home opener before getting a sweep against Concordia Irvine and McKendree for a second time.
No. 14 CSUN
- BYU faces CSUN at the Matadome Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. PST and then again Friday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. PST.
- The Cougars lead the overall series history 38-22 and have won the past 11 meetings.
- BYU picked up a pair of sweeps against the Matadors at home last year but is just 15-14 all-time when playing in Northridge.
- CSUN is 6-1, 1-1 MPSF so far this year, falling only in five sets to Cal Baptist. The Matadors are coming off of a road sweep of USC in their last match.
- CSUN finished with a 14-15, 7-15 MPSF record in 2016.
Additional Match Info
Both matches will be streamed on the GoMatadors.com website. Links to video as well as live stats can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.