Taylor Sander led the Cougars with 29 kills and a .480 hitting percentage against the Trojans. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- In one of the biggest match-ups of the season for men's volleyball, the second-ranked BYU Cougars took No. 1 USC to five sets but fell (21-25, 25-17, 17-25, 25-21, 15-12) on the road to give them a 13-5 overall season record.
Freshman Taylor Sander led all players with a career-high 29 kills, a .480 attacking percentage and three services aces for the second time this season.
Robb Stowell and Alex DaPron added to the Cougar attack with 16 and 14 kills, respectively.
Set one was taken by the Trojans in a close 25-21 score but BYU came back in the second set and stole a convincing eight-point victory on a back-to-back 3-0 runs early on.
USC's Murphy Troy led the attack in set three with five kills and an ace for the Trojan win but, again, the Cougars fought back and took set four to force just the third 5-set match of the season for USC. Troy finished the match with 22 kills and three aces.
With an early 3-0 lead in the final set for the Trojans, BYU had to once fight its way back in as they tied the score at 5-5 and 6-6 before USC again took the lead and finished out the match in a 15-12 score in the fifth.
BYU's Futi Tavana finished with a team-high five digs. This is just the second match all season the Cougars haven't had a player record more than five blocks against an opponent.
The Cougars have now only won one of their four matches they've played to five sets.
A rematch between the two teams will be played tomorrow, March 5, at 7 p.m. on the same court. Admission is free.