PROVO, Utah - Three players finished with double-digit kills to lead the No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team over No. 13 Lewis 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-14) at the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
After losing to Lewis (1-4) last night in five sets, BYU evened the score tonight with a three-set victory to improve its record to 3-1 on the season.
Freshman Ben Patch
and junior Taylor Sander
led the Cougars offensively with 12 kills each. Middle blocker Russ Lavaja
added 11 kills and led the team in hitting percentage with .846, and total blocks with three. Josue Rivera
smashed nine kills and Devin Young
added another eight for the Cougars, while Ryan Boyce
paced the offense with 44 assists.
Patch finished the match hitting .800 with 12 kills on 15 attempts for the fifth-best hitting percentage (minimum 12 kills) in BYU rally history.
BYU outhit Lewis .525 to .262 and limited its team errors to take the win from the Flyers.
In set one, BYU and Lewis traded points early. At 10-8, Patch unleashed a cross-court kill to push BYU up by three. BYU held the three-point lead until the 23-20 mark when Lewis grabbed two to cut the lead to one and force a BYU timeout. Out of the timeout, Rivera notched set point for the Cougars on a back-row attack and then a Flyer error gave BYU the 25-22 victory. Patch led the Cougars with seven kills in the set.
BYU jumped ahead early in the second set and, at 13-10, went on a 4-0 run to grab its biggest lead of the night. The Cougars held onto the momentum and improved its hitting percentage to from .487 to .545 en route to the 25-16 win.
Rivera’s second ace of the night put BYU up 2-0 early in the third set, but Lewis quickly answered to tie the game at 4-4. With BYU up by one at 9-8, Lavaja pounded his ninth kill of the night to spur a 12-4 run for the Cougars. Sander and Young contributed to the run with three kills each. At 23-14, Sander added two-straight kills to take the three-set victory for the Cougars.
BYU plays next on Jan. 18 against No. 1 UC Irvine at the Smith Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. MST.