(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
The No. 4 BYU men’s volleyball team (9-6, 7-5 MPSF) finally returns home to host No. 1 Pepperdine (9-4, 8-3 MPSF) this weekend at the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars have not played in Provo since hosting No. 3 Stanford on Jan 22 & 23. Since then they have spent four weeks on the road.
BYU is tied for sixth-place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings after dropping two matches at No. 8 Hawai’i. The Cougars now have a 4-5 record against teams ranked in the top 10 this season.
Senior outside hitter J.D. Schleppenbach of Pepperdine earned MPSF co-Player of the Week honors following a career-best performance in last Friday’s 3-1 win over No. 5 Cal State Northridge. The Waves have won eight-straight matches, with Friday’s win marking the 500th in Pepperdine Coach Marv Dunphy’s career.
The Waves lead the series against BYU, 26-19, while the Cougars hold an 11-8 advantage in Provo. Pepperdine won the first six matches in the series, dating back to 1990, before the Cougars picked up their first win in 1993. The Waves hold a 7-4 advantage in the series since 2006, while matches in 2009 were split as each team claimed a 3-1 win in Malibu.
Live stats are available at the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page at www.byucougars.com. Gametracker can be launched by clicking on the link next to the appropriate game on the schedule. Live video is available at byu.tv on Friday and BYU All-Access on Saturday (all-access.cbssports.com).
BYU is coming off back-to-back losses to No. 8 Hawai’i. The two teams played a hard-fought five-set match on Friday, during which four Cougars recorded double-digit kills. Robb Stowell led the offensive attack with 18 kills. Saturday’s match, originally planned to be played on the island of Maui, was postponed due to tsunami warnings throughout the state. The match was rescheduled for Monday evening. The Warriors claimed the 3-0 win despite BYU outhitting UH .339 to .336.