No. 13 BYU sweeps Fairleigh Dickinson for second consecutive night
PROVO, Utah – No. 13 BYU men’s volleyball swept Fairleigh Dickinson 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-15) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse for the Cougars’ second-straight win over the Knights. The win improved BYU to 4-0 on the season.
BYU was led by freshman Trent Moser, who had 11 kills on .579 hitting. Nine different Cougars registered kills, with sophomores Teon Taylor and Luke Benson adding 6 and 5 respectively. Kills from freshmen Bernardo Adam, Jared Brady and Ethan Gant were all the first of their careers. As a team BYU hit .394, with FDU only converting at a rate of .012. The visiting Knights also had 39 errors on the evening.
"We have the capability to take on anybody in the country," said Taylor. "I love all the guys on our team and they work so hard at practice, so it was fun seeing new faces on the court tonight. Next week at UC Irvine, we are going to focus on staying locked in during every single play."
The Cougars started off with an early 3-0 lead in the first set, with Taylor registering two kills. Moser then added two kills of his own before a pair of hitting errors from FDU saw BYU’s lead grow to 8-2.
A timeout helped the Knights cut the Cougar lead to two, but BYU responded with an 8-1 run. FDU committed five errors during the stretch, which also included an ace from Moser. The Cougars led 20-11 at the end of the run, their largest gap of the set to that point.
A solo block from senior Heath Hughes gave the Cougars their third-straight point to end the set, securing a 25-15 win. BYU had 12 kills in the first on .385 hitting, including four on a .600 clip from Taylor. The home side also held the Knights to -0.033 hitting and 13 errors in the frame.
The second set started out much closer, with the two teams trading points to a 6-6 tie. The Cougars finally got some separation when three consecutive Moser kills gave them a 9-6 lead. The lead would remain at three for most of the set before a 6-2 run saw the BYU lead grow to five, 20-15.
The mistake-filled set saw the two teams combine for 20 errors, including 13 from the service line. The Cougars ended the second set with three-straight points, two of which came from FDU errors. The 25-19 set saw six kills from Moser on .750 hitting. As a team, BYU hit .429 with FDU converting at a .172 rate.
Moser added another kill to open set three, with BYU starting off with an 8-4 lead after seven more errors from FDU. The lead grew further to 15-7 after Adam, Moser and Taylor added kills for the Cougars.
The Cougars continued to hit well as the set wore on, with Gant registering a kill to go along with one more from both Adam and Taylor during a stretch that ended with a 20-10 BYU lead. Jared Brady then entered the match for his first time as a Cougar and hit home three of BYU’s final four points, including the match point for a 25-15 set three final score. The final set was also BYU’s best defensively, forcing a -0.136 hitting clip from the Knights.
Next week the Cougars head to California for a two-game series with UC Irvine on Wednesday and Friday. Both matches start at 7:00 p.m. PST on ESPN+.
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.