Benson, Browne and Moser lift BYU to a 3-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson
PROVO, Utah — Luke Benson, Kupono Browne, and Trent Moser combined for 30 kills as No. 13 BYU men’s volleyball defeated Fairleigh Dickinson (2-1) for a 3-0 win (25-20, 25-17, 25-15) on Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
Freshman outside hitter Moser earned a starting position in his first-ever game as a Cougar, recording nine kills, five digs, and four blocks. Freshmen Jackson Fife and Ethan Gant also made their first appearances with BYU as Fife recorded two digs while Gant recorded a block and assist.
"I felt completely ready tonight," said Moser. "I owe it all to the brothers on my team who supported me in my first match. It felt great to get a sweep. Fairleigh Dickinson is a tough team and very scrappy, so hats off to them."
A career-high of seven total blocks for Browne helped lift him to a big night while also recording nine kills, three service aces and one dig. Another personal record was set on BYU's offense with 12 kills from sophomore outside hitter Benson.
As a team, BYU hit 0.294 compared to Fairleigh Dickinson's .014 clip. The Cougars also out-blocked the Knights six to 12.
A service ace by Moser helped the Cougars jump out to an early 4-1 lead and later back-to-back aces by Browne helped give BYU an 8-3 advantage. The Cougars continued to hold the lead as they led 15-10 at the first media timeout.
BYU never lost its lead and would win the set 25-20. The Cougars out-hit the Knights .320 to .250 in the first set. Luke Benson and Moser led the charge for BYU with four kills each.
The beginning of the second set held close as the Knights tied the Cougars 5-5 after winning three-straight points. BYU and FDU equalized points seven times until BYU got the lead back at 15-12 and a timeout was called.
A kill by Benson after the timeout extended the Cougars' lead to 16-12. The Cougars closed the set out on a 6-1 run and won 25-17.
Benson's six kills helped BYU out-hit Fairleigh Dickinson in the set .429 to .038.
A service ace by senior setter Heath Hughes helped give the Cougars a 3-1 advantage in the third set. Hughes would go on to have 27 assists and three digs. The Knights eventually took their first lead of the set at 8-7. Points swapped back-and-forth before BYU took a 15-12 lead and a timeout was called.
BYU closed off by finishing on a 9-1 run and won the match by winning the set 25-15.
BYU (3-0) remains at home for another match versus Fairleigh Dickinson tomorrow on January 21st. The Cougars will battle the Knights at 7 p.m. MST on BYUtv/BYUtv app.
No. 13 BYU set to host Fairleigh Dickinson for first time in NCAA history
PROVO, Utah — BYU men's volleyball was put at the No. 13 spot in the first AVCA coaches poll of the 2023 season after defeating McKendree (3-0) and Lewis (3-1) in its opening weekend at home.
The Cougars then enjoyed one week off of games from January 8-14 and are still ranked No. 13 in week two of the AVCA coaches poll. Before this, the Cougars hadn’t been placed in the Top 15 since the week of February 27th, 2022.
BYU will return to the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday, January 20th to host Fairleigh Dickinson of Teaneck, New Jersey. It will be the first matchup between the Cougars and the Knights in NCAA men’s volleyball history as it is FDU’s second season as a program.
Fairleigh Dickinson (3-0) opened its 2023 season with six consecutive wins, three of which where exhibition games. Last week, FDU freshman Naveen Fernando earned himself Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Week and Co-Rookie of the Week, the first-ever Knight to garner weekly honors by the NEC. Fernando totaled 10 kills, six total blocks and two solo blocks over six sets played, with 22 total attempts.
Kupono Browne led BYU’s offense in its opening week with 25 kills on a .463 clip and seven service aces. Against Lewis, Browne recorded four aces, nearly breaking his PR for most aces in a single match of five.
Friday's match will be streaming on the BYUtv app at 7 p.m. MST and Saturday's match will be live on BYUtv at 7 p.m. MST.