No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball tops No. 6 Lewis in four sets
PROVO, Utah — No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball topped No. 6 Lewis in four sets (25-21, 23-25, 25-15, 25-15) Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
“We made a few important adjustments between sets two and three and really tried to hammer home a few adjustments to their attackers,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “The guys made adjustments, got some more touches on their attackers and things went from there.”
The Cougars recorded a .410 clip on the night and more than doubled the Flyers’ blocks, 18 to seven. Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga led BYU with 13 kills, followed by Gabi Garcia Fernandez’s 12 kills and five blocks. Brenden Sander added 11 kills and had three of the team’s seven aces. Leo Durkin tallied 40 assists while Miki Jauhiainen also contributed five blocks.
Lewis got on the board first but both teams traded points often in the first set before tying it 8-all. The Cougars then capitalized on four-consecutive Lewis errors during a 4-0 run to go up 12-8. The Flyers came back, 13-12, before a kill from Fa’agata-Tufuga landed just inside the line for a 14-12 advantage.
BYU led by three twice, 17-14 and 19-16, but Lewis continued to fight back. A Cougar service error brought the Flyers within one, 21-20, before BYU pulled away for good. Fernandez’s two kills and a couple of Lewis errors gave the Cougars set one, 25-21.
The second set began similarly as the teams battled back and forth. The Flyers began to pull away midway through the second set, 12-8, after two BYU errors and a kill.
Lewis extended its lead to five, 14-9, before the Cougars fought back to trail 14-12. A kill from Sander, a Flyer error and a block by Fernandez and Jauhiainen aided the offensive outburst. Multiple Lewis errors kept BYU close before back-to-back kills from Jarman and Fernandez brought the Cougars within one 24-23. The Flyers narrowly edged BYU for the second set on a service error, 25-23.
In the third set, Lewis built an early 6-3 lead on a 4-0 run. The Cougars broke away from a 9-9 tie on a 3-0 run of their own to take a 12-9 lead. A kill from Fa’agata-Tufuga, ace from Jauhiainen and Flyer error contributed to the run.
BYU then extended its lead to six, 17-11, on a 6-2 run of Lewis errors and a kill from Jarman. Fa’agata-Tufuga recorded an ace, propelling the Cougars to a 10-point set victory. Wil Stanley served an ace for set point, 25-15, as BYU picked up a second set to lead the Flyers two sets to one.
The Cougars hit a .526 clip in the fourth set to end the match and take home the victory. Sander served back-to-back aces for an early 3-0 lead as BYU dominated the rest of the set. He recorded his third ace of the night to give the Cougars a seven-point advantage, 15-8. BYU maintained momentum to close the set, 25-15.
The Cougars return to action Friday, Jan. 12, on the road at Ball State at 7:30 p.m. EST.
No. 7 UC Irvine vs No. 13 Loyola-Chicago
PROVO, Utah – Karl Apfelbach had 22 kills and 15 digs to lead No. 7 UC Irvine over No.13 Loyola-Chicago in four sets (22-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22) on Saturday.
Loyola-Chicago won the first set 25-22 after pulling away from UC Irvine. Both teams were tied at 13-13 midway through the set until a kill by Jeff Jendryk gave Loyola-Chicago the lead. The Ramblers would maintain the lead for the remainder of the set.
UC Irvine took command early on in the second set and never trailed after taking a 7-6 lead. Apfelbach’s six kills in the set helped the Anteaters take it 25-19.
The Anteaters started with a quick lead of 13-4 in the third set with the help of eight Rambler errors. Loyola-Chicago fought back to close the gap to 22-20, but lost the set to UC Irvine 25-22.
Apfelbach finished off Loyola-Chicago in the fourth set with his 22nd kill of the night for the match-ending point. UC Irvine led Loyola-Chicago the entire final set and won 25-22.
No. 3 BYU opens 2018 season at home
PROVO, Utah – No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball opens the 2018 season a home, hosting No. 13 Loyola-Chicago and No. 6 Lewis.
The Cougars will face the Ramblers Friday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. MST, followed by the Flyers Saturday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. MST.
Additionally, UC Irvine will travel to Elaine Michaelis Court to compete against Lewis on Jan. 5, at 4:30 p.m. MST, and Loyola-Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 4:30 p.m. MST.
No. 13 Loyola-Chicago
- BYU faces the Ramblers for the 10th time on Friday with the Cougars holding a 5-4 advantage in the overall series history.
- Loyola-Chicago won the last matchup a season ago in four sets in Chicago.
- BYU is a perfect 2-0 against the Ramblers when playing at the Smith Fieldhouse, including beating the then-defending national champions to begin the 2016 season.
No. 6 Lewis
- The Cougars are 14-3 all-time against Lewis.
- BYU swept the Flyers in last season’s meeting and have won the past two matchups.
- The Cougars are 8-1 when playing Lewis at home, but the Flyers won the last meeting in Provo in five sets.
- BYU will complete against Lewis again later in the season as part of the Outrigger Resorts Invitational.
Friday’s match featuring BYU and Loyola-Chicago will be televised live nationally on BYUtv. All three other matches over the weekend will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Live stats will also be available for all matches. Links can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.