All-American Futi Tavana led the Cougars on the block in three-of-four matches. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
CALGARY -- Finishing with a bronze medal in the Dino Cup, the BYU men’s volleyball team found a 3-2 win over Calgary Friday night, a 3-1 win over Saskatchewan Saturday afternoon, and a 3-0 sweep over Saskatchewan for a third-place finish in the tournament.
“Competing in Calgary is great preseason experience for our players, playing against excellent Canadian competition,” BYU interim head coach Rob Neilson said. “While we have a lot of work to do, there have been a number of bright spots to build upon as we move forward.”
Against Calgary, three Cougars were in double-digit kills, including true freshman Taylor Sander leading with 26, Robb Stowell with 15, and Alex DaPron with 14. Both Joe Kauliakamoa and Ryan Boyce took reps in setter, tallying 33 and 25 assists, respectively.
DaPron and libero BJ Hiapo held up the back row with seven digs apiece. Middle blocker Futi Tavana led the team with four blocks.
“Taylor and Alex were excellent in our second match,” said Neilson. “Our serve struggled at times and we made too many errors, but I was proud of our effort.”
Against Saskatchewan, Kevin Sagers had 18 kills while Sander added 14 on .545 hitting. Boyce started at setter and tallied 48 assists and seven digs while Sander and Jeff Robinson added seven digs apiece as well. Otavio Souza led on the block with five.
“Ryan Boyce did an excellent job at setter and our serving was much improved against Saskatchewan,” said Neilson. “Taylor had another great match and Kevin and Robb contributed to the win at the pins.”
Tallying a 3-1 record with two other teams in the Dino Cup, the Cougars took on Saskatchewan for the second time for the bronze medal, taking the sweep.
Sander led with 13 kills, followed by Stowell with 11. Tavana added seven kills on .600 hitting and five total blocks. Stowell led the team with six total blocks while Hiapo had seven digs. Kauliakamoa started as setter, earning 36 assists.
The Cougars will host the Alumni Match Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. The event is free and all are encouraged to attend to see the new 2010-11 team.