(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah - After falling 2-0 in the match, the No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball team rallied back to win the next three sets and beat the Cal Baptist Lancers 3-2, taking their second straight five-set victory (22-25, 17-25, 25-17, 25-14, 15-10) Friday at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"To this point we haven't played well from behind, so it was nice to come back after going down early," head coach Chris McGown
led the Cougars with 14 kills, nine digs and five blocks. Robb Stowell
also contributed 12 kills and seven digs, and Futi Tavana
posted 11 kills while leading all players with seven blocks.
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Play in the first set was back and forth, with neither team leading by more than three points early on. After a service error by Josue Rivera
and a kill by Cal Baptist’s Aaron McCalmont, which led to a score of 15-18, BYU called a timeout. Futi Tavana
came out of the timeout with a big kill, bringing the Cougars within two, but that was the closest BYU would get, with Cal Baptist eventually finishing the set 25-22.
The Lancers’ momentum carried them into the second set and held the lead through the entire set, allowing only one tied score. The Cougars hit just .032 percent to Cal Baptist’s .407 percent in the second. Cal Baptist finished the set, 25-17, posting the biggest lead of the night with the win and taking a 2-0 set lead over BYU.
The third set proved to be a battle, with five tied scores in the first ten points. After a tied score of 5-5, BYU took control of the lead. With back-to-back kills, Tyler Abertson put the game away for the Cougars, 25-17. The Cougars’ hitting improved drastically in the third, with five different players posting two or more kills and Rivera leading BYU with four.
In the fourth, it was the Cougars who came out strong, taking an early 10-2 lead. The Lancer’s fought to stay in the game, but were only able to come within six. Tavana finished the game for BYU with a strong kill down the middle on the second match point, 25-14.
Off two Cougars errors, the Lancers scored the first two points in the fifth set, but a kill by Russ Lavaja
tied the set at 3-3. From the tied score, BYU built on the momentum and increase its lead by as many as five. Again, it was Tavana who put the game away with two kills in a row, finishing the set and match with a score of 15-10.
The Lancers’ had three players post double-digit kills, with McCalmont leading all players on 19 kills and Michael Cate posting 18 digs.
The Cougars will take on the Lancers again tomorrow, Saturday, at the Smith Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. MST. The match will be broadcast live on BYUtv and online at byutvsport.com/gameday.
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