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Cardinal gets revenge on No. 9 BYU in California
STANFORD, Calif. — The No. 8 ranked Stanford Cardinal (12-6, 4-3 MPSF) got revenge on No. 9 BYU men’s volleyball (8-5, 4-3 MPSF) Saturday night at Maples Pavilion, defeating the Cougars in four sets (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21).
Freshman Davide Gardini led BYU on both sides of the ball in the match, filling up the stat sheet with 13 kills, 10 digs and a career-high five blocks. Gabi Garcia Fernandez also had 13 kills on the night, while Wil Stanley had 24 assists and a career-high four blocks.
The first set was close to start, with Stanford getting out to a slight lead, 11-9. The Cardinal then got the first service ace of the match to extend its lead to 13-9 soon after. A triple block by the Cougars allowed them to trim the lead to just one, 19-18, and prevent a first-set blowout. A series of errors by BYU allowed Stanford to pull away again, however, taking the first set 25-20.
The Cardinal once again got out to a lead early in the second set with a 10-6 advantage. Back-to-back kills by the Cougars allowed them to close the gap and tie the game at 13, only to go back down again by four, 17-13, soon after. Jordan Ewert’s 11th kill of the match gave the Cardinal its second-consecutive set with a matching score of 25-20.
Coach Olmstead made some changes in the third set, bringing in Zach Hendrickson at libero and freshman Kana’i Akana as another attacker. Stanford got out to a 12-9 lead, but BYU came back to tie it at 15. A triple block gave the Cougars a 16-15 lead and Stanley his fourth block assist. The set continued to go back and forth before BYU broke out to 22-19 lead. Gardini got a kill and a block to withstand a late comeback by the Cardinal and the Cougars took the third set, 25-22.
Three consecutive kills by Ewert gave Stanford a 12-10 lead early in the fourth set before Garcia Fernandez got his 10th kill to stop the run and bring BYU within one, 12-11. The set was then tied up at 14 on an attack error from Ewert, but he redeemed himself soon after with his 20th kill to put Stanford out in front once again, 19-15.
BYU refused to go away, however, and another kill by Garcia Fernandez brought the Cougars within two, 21-19, and forced a Stanford timeout. Ewert proved hard to stop and got another pair of kills to put the Cardinal up big again, 24-20. Gardini stopped the bleeding momentarily with his 13th kill, but Jaylen Jasper’s 10th kill of the night sealed the set and match for the Cardinal, 25-21.
The Cougars return home next week to face UC Irvine in back-to-back matches Friday, Mar. 8, and Saturday, Mar. 9 in the Smith Fieldhouse. The matches will be streamed live on TheW.tv and live stats can be found on the schedule page.
No. 9 BYU prepares for top-10 clash with No. 8 Stanford
PROVO, Utah — No. 9 BYU men’s volleyball plays No. 8 Stanford twice this week, Thursday in Provo and Saturday in California, in a top-10 clash between MPSF foes.
No. 9 BYU (7-4, 3-2 MPSF)
The Cougars came back from an eight-point deficit in the fourth set to defeat Grand Canyon at home in the Smith Fieldhouse last week to get their third-straight win in MPSF play.
Junior middle blocker Miki Jauhiainen was named Off the Block’s Defensive Player of the Night on Saturday for his career-high nine blocks against the Lopes. He is currently second in the MPSF in blocks with 1.19 per set.
Sophomore opposite hitter Gabi Garcia Fernandez continued his dominant offensive streak with his seventh consecutive match in double-figure kills and third 20-kill performance of the season, tallying 20 successful attacks against GCU. He leads the MPSF and is second in the nation in kills with 4.59 per set.
Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga had his best all-around performance for the Cougars this season, coming off the bench for six kills, five digs and three blocks.
As a team, the Cougars continue to show strength on the defensive end, leading the MPSF in blocks with 2.47 per set and ranking second in opponent hitting percentage at .239.
No. 8 Stanford (11-5, 3-2 MPSF)
The Cardinal is coming off of back-to-back sweeps over UC San Diego and Grand Canyon, extending the team’s current win streak to four matches.
BYU leads the overall series 36-21, including victories in the last six meetings.
The Cardinal leads the MPSF in Player of the Week awards with six on the season, including two each for opposite hitter Jaylen Jasper and libero Kyle Dagostino. Jasper currently ranks second in the MPSF in kills with 4.04 per set and Dagostino ranks second in digs with 2.11 per set.
The other two player of the week awards went to outside hitter Jordan Ewert, who currently ranks in the top 10 in both kills and digs in the MPSF, and setter Paul Bischoff, who leads the MPSF in assists with 10.53 per set.
BYU edges Stanford out on the defensive end with .239-.260 and 2.5-2.1 leads in opponent hitting percentage and blocks per set, respectively. The Cardinal has the offensive stats to match, however, with 13.1-11.5 and .328-.306 leads in kills per set and hitting percentage, respectively.