Trevor Rich | Posted: 14 Apr 2023 | Updated: 3 Jul 2023

No. 6 BYU defeats No. 8 Stanford in four-set thriller

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Shawn Olsmtead and Jackson Fife going in for a huge, men's volleyball team in the background cheering in front of fans

PROVO, Utah — Head coach Shawn Olmstead recorded his 150th career win with the Cougars Friday night as No. 6 BYU men's volleyball defeated No. 8 Stanford winning the match 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-21, 26-24) at the Smith Fieldhouse, extending BYU's win streak to seven games. The Cougars are undefeated at home this season, winning 13 games in the Smith Fieldhouse.

"I've been fortunate to be around such great people," said Olmstead. "The wins will come down under my name, but there are countless other individuals who should be given the main credit. As far as tonight's win goes, shoutout to Jon Stanley for creating so many magical moments to carry our team forward. I was proud of our fight tonight. We are focused on tomorrow's final game of the regular season for our seniors Mitch and Heath."

Opposite hitter Kupono Browne contributed heavily to the potent BYU offense, recording 18 kills while helping the Cougars hit at a .219 clip on the night. 

Defensively, the Cougars managed to hold the Cardinal to hitting just .195 as a team. Middle blocker Teon Taylor had a match-high nine blocks, compared to Stanford's team total of seven. BYU also forced 25 attack errors by Stanford, along with 18 service errors. Heath Hughes and Browne both led the Cougars in digs with nine each. 

Set One

The first set started back and forth as both teams were tied at 14-14 before BYU took a 15-14 lead following a kill by Luke Benson before a media timeout was called. Following the timeout, Stanford regained the lead at 17-16 and later extended their lead to 19-17 following an attack error by Kupono Browne, forcing the Cougars to call a timeout. 

BYU quickly regained the lead following the timeout, winning five-straight points and leading 22-19 before ultimately winning the set 25-20. 

Despite having fewer kills in the set than the Cardinal (10-11), the Cougars outhit Stanford .269 to .069.

Set Two

In the second set, the Cardinal jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and later led 11-7 before a timeout was called by BYU. Stanford continued to find success after the timeout and led 15-7 before the Cougars called another timeout. 

The Cardinal later extended their lead to 21-12, but BYU was able to make a late push by going on a 6-0 run, forcing a Stanford timeout at 21-18, BYU down by three. The Cardinal would succeed and hung on to win the set 25-19. 

BYU's 12 kills in the set bested the Cardinals' nine, but Stanford outhit the Cougars .250 to .091. 

Set Three

Both teams were tied at 9-9 in the third set before BYU took a 10-9 lead following a kill by Trent Moser. The Cougars would later extend their lead to 15-12 following another kill by Moser. 

Later in the set, BYU would lead 19-16 before the Cardinal called a timeout on the floor. Following the timeout, the Cougars would lead 22-19 and later win the set 25-21 off a service error by Stanford. BYU outhit the Cardinal in the set .391 to .276.

Set Four

The Cougars took a 2-1 lead in the fourth set following a kill at the net by Julien, but Stanford stormed back taking a 9-5 advantage. The Cardinal continued to find success and led 12-7 before a timeout was called by BYU. 

A 3-0 run following the timeout for the Cougars cut their deficit to 13-10, but Stanford was able to extend its lead and later hold an 18-14 advantage. BYU would fight back and cut its deficit to 20-17, forcing the Cardinal to call a timeout. 

Following the timeout, a Browne kill would cut the Cougars' deficit to 21-19, before BYU would later cut its deficit to 23-22 following a service ace from Julien. The Cougars would later tie the score at 24, following a kill at the net by Browne, forcing Stanford to call a timeout. 

Two-straight points for BYU with the final being a match-winning kill from Browne after the timeout would propel the Cougars to victory 26-24. 

The Cougars will close out their two-match series against the Cardinal Saturday night at Smith Fieldhouse as they look for an undefeated home season. The match will begin at 7 p.m. MDT and can be streamed on BYUtv/BYUtv app/ BYU will be honoring seniors Mitchel Worthington and Heath Hughes following the conclusion of the match.

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