(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Brenden Sander and Jake Langlois both had 11 kills and hit better than a .600 clip to give BYU a four-set win (25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 25-18) over Princeton Tuesday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"Hats off to Princeton," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "They came in here and served tough, put pressure on us and didn't back down. I felt like we needed to jump start our own guys and I let the team know we need to be better than that."
Sander's .625 clip and Langlois' .647 clip helped the Cougars (20-2, 13-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) to a .312 clip as a team, compared to a .211 clip for the Tigers (9-9, 6-3 Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association).
Tim Dobbert and Joseph Grosh had six and five kills, respectively. Miki Jauhiainen led the Cougars with five blocks. Langlois had four aces, all of which came in the first set.
BYU got off to a 7-4 start in the first set, thanks in part to Langlois, who had three-straight aces. Back-to-back kills from Langlois and Sander gave the Cougars their first five-point lead at 19-14. Princeton rallied to tie the set at 22-22 and again at 23-23, but a Dobbert kill and Tiger error gave BYU the set, 25-23.
In the second set, Princeton led 5-2 before the Cougars scored three straight to even the set. BYU scored nine of the next 13 points to lead 14-9. Again, the Tigers closed the gap and squared the score at 20-20 and 22-22. Kiril Meretev’s kill and a block from Sander and Jauhiainen led to the Cougars’ 25-23 set win.
The third set was tightly contested most of the way as BYU replaced several of its starters. Princeton took its first four-point lead of any set at 22-18 before a block from Sander and a Tiger error made it a 22-20 BYU deficit. Princeton scored three out of the next four points to win the set 25-21. BYU Freshman Tanner Skabelund, who came into the match with two kills on the season, had four kills in the set.
Sander got his 11th kill of the night and had the Cougars up 15-10 at the media timeout in the fourth set. Leo Durkin’s ace extended the BYU lead to six points at 19-13. Sophomore Christian Rupert’s first career kill put BYU up 22-16. With the score at 24-18, Sander served an ace to win the set 25-18 and the match 3-1.
BYU returns to the Smith Fieldhouse for two weekend matches with No. 1 Long Beach State. The first will take place on Friday at 7 p.m. MDT. It will be televised on BYUtv with radio available on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143).