(Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Taylor Sander and Robb Stowell led the BYU men’s volleyball team to a 3-1 victory (23-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18) over Cal State Northridge, Friday, at the Smith Fieldhouse to complete the weekend sweep of the Matadors.
"I wasn’t sure why we started slow tonight," BYU head coach Chris McGown said. "We just made some mistakes. I thought we had good energy, good focus and were doing the right things. We just served poorly and received poorly enough times that it hurt us a little. But eventually the guys were able to find some rhythm."
Sander recorded a match-high 21 kills and finished with a .562 hitting percentage. Stowell added 17 kills and a season-high .484 while Russ Lavaja recorded eight kills. BYU hit .475 for the match compared with .230 for the Matadors.
The Cougars finished with 14.5 total team blocks, 11.5 more than CSUN. The Cougars also had 12 more assists and 19 more digs than the Matadors.
The first set was controlled early by BYU before CSUN took its first lead at 13-12. BYU regained the advantage at 17-16 but quickly went down 19-17 and were unable to regain the lead. Sander let the set with six kills but the Matadors finished with a .259 hitting percentage compared to BYU's .172.
Sander had another six kills in set two and helped the Cougars improve their hitting percentage to .519. The sophomore scored four of BYU’s final six points to help the team close out the set on a 9-2 run to secure the win.
BYU went on an early 5-0 run in set three to take a 10-5 lead. The Matadors were unable to get closer than three for the remainder of the set as the Cougars secured a convincing victory. Sander and Stowell each recorded six hits and the team hit a match-high .708.
CSUN jumped out to a 5-1 lead in set four but the Cougars responded with an 8-0 run to take a 9-5 lead. BYU led for the remainder of the set and put the match away with a seven-point set win. Sander, Stowell and Andrew Heap each had three kills and BYU held the Matadors to a match low .065 hitting percentage.
BYU will continue the season at UCLA next on April 6-7. Both matches are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PST and can be followed at uclabruins.com.