(Photo by Todd Wakefield/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah—With the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament already in hand, No. 2 BYU flies to Hawai’i to take on the No. 10 Warriors Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. HST.
The Cougars (18-4, 18-2 MPSF) haven’t faced Hawai’i (13-8, 11-9 MPSF) since the quarterfinals of the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. BYU narrowly defeated the Warriors 3-2 at the Smith Fieldhouse.
BYU comes off back-to-back home wins against No. 5 UC Santa Barbara and No. 9 UCLA. The pair of victories secured the top seed in the MPSF tournament for the Cougars and was the earliest a team has clinched the top spot in MPSF history.
Outside hitter Taylor Sander contributed a combined 50 kills over the weekend, hitting .500 and recording a new career high of eight block assists against the Gauchos. His performances led to MPSF and Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week honors, the fifth conference weekly honor and third national weekly honor of his career. Sander is No. 2 in the nation in kills per set with 4.70.
Michael Hatch leads the Cougars with 1.48 blocks per set, good for No. 3 in the country. Libero Jaylen Reyes contributes 1.75 digs per set, and setter Tyler Heap averages 10.87 assists per set.
BYU is 34-16 in the overall series with Hawai’i and is 12-12 in road matches. The Cougars are on a six-match win streak that began on March 8, which is tied for their longest streak this season.
Hawai’i last traveled to the Bay Area for a week of competition against Stanford and Pacific. The Warriors came out of that road trip with two wins and two losses.
Brook Sedore leads Hawai’i with 3.77 kills per set on a .310 hit clip. On defense, Kolby Kanetake averages 2.0 digs per set, while Taylor Averill leads in blocks with 1.21 per set.
The matches will be broadcast on NBC Sports Radio Hawaii, and the Saturday match will be broadcast on OC Sports. Links to live audio streaming (Friday and Saturday) and video streaming (Saturday), as well as to live stats, can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.