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No. 2 BYU clinches MPSF title outright with sweep of No. 4 Pepperdine
MALIBU, Calif. – No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball clinched the MPSF regular-season title outright with its sweep (25-20, 25-17, 25-14) of Pepperdine Thursday night at Firestone Fieldhouse.
“This was an impressive team performance tonight,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We served tough and kept Pepperdine out of system. I'm proud of our focus from start to finish.”
Brenden Sander led the Cougars with 11 kills on a .429 clip. Leo Durkin set the team with 27 assists while Cyrus Fa’alogo provided four digs and six kills on a .545 clip. Felipe de Brito Ferreira collected six blocks and five kills while Wil Stanley contributed a career-high four aces in the win.
Pepperdine (14-7, 7-4 MPSF) got off to a 3-1 lead in the first set against BYU (20-5, 10-1 MPSF) after consecutive aces. A 5-2 Cougar run then evened things at 8-8. The Waves followed by scoring three-straight points, capped off by a block, to go ahead 13-10, forcing a timeout by BYU. With Sander at the service line, the Cougars rattled off eight-consecutive points to take an 18-13 lead as Pepperdine used both timeouts along the way. The Waves then got back within a pair at 20-18, but a pair of Sander kills sealed the set victory for BYU, 25-20.
A block and kill from Ferreira helped the Cougars take a 7-5 advantage to start off the second set. A Gabi Garcia Fernandez ace made it 11-7, and a Sander kill extended the lead to six, 15-9. BYU stayed in front at 21-13 after a Price Jarman kill before taking the set 25-17 on a Fa’alogo ace.
The third set began with the two teams staying within a point of each other until kills by Fa’alogo and Sander and an ace gave the Cougars the edge, 9-6. BYU won a lengthy rally to stay up 15-10, and back-to-back Fernandez aces made it 18-11, forcing a timeout from Pepperdine. BYU cruised through the end of the set, winning the match on three-straight aces from Wil Stanley, 25-14.
The Cougars stay on the road for their final regular-season match at UCLA Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m. PDT. The match will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network. Links to a video stream and live stats can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.
No. 2 BYU finishes league play in battle for No. 1 seed
PROVO, Utah – No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball finishes regular-season play this week with league matches at No. 4 Pepperdine and No. 5 UCLA. The Cougars will compete with the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament on the line.
With at least a share of the regular-season league title already secured, BYU (19-5, 9-1 MPSF) needs to win at least one of its two matches this week (or have the Waves and Bruins each lose their other match of the week) in order to secure the No. 1 seed for the MPSF Tournament.
With a No. 1 seed, the Cougars would host the semifinals and finals of the conference tournament and have a bye through the quarterfinals. With a No. 2 or No. 3 seed, BYU would only host the quarterfinals.
No. 4 Pepperdine
- The Cougars face off against the Waves (14-6, 7-3 MPSF) at the Firestone Fieldhouse Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m. PDT.
- Pepperdine leads the overall series history between the squads 32-30.
- BYU has won the past three meetings, including a five-set come-from-behind win at home earlier this season.
- The Cougars are just 10-23 when playing the Waves on the road.
- Pepperdine has won their past four-consecutive matches after losing three of four before that.
No. 5 UCLA
- BYU finishes out the week playing at conference rival UCLA (20-6, 7-3 MPSF) Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m. PDT at Pauley Pavilion.
- The Cougars hold a 34-31 lead in the all-time series history and is the only school with an overall winning record against the Bruins.
- BYU has won eight-straight matches against UCLA, including picking up a sweep at home earlier this year.
- The Cougars are only 11-20 when competing against the Bruins on their home court.
- UCLA had won five matches in a row following its loss to BYU in March before falling at cross-town rival USC last week.
Thursday’s match against Pepperdine will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Saturday’s contest at UCLA will be televised live by the Pac-12 Network. Live stats will be available for both matches and can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.