(Photo by BYU Photo)
STANFORD, Calif. – An all-around team effort helped No. 3 BYU men's volleyball past No. 8 Stanford in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 25-21) Thursday night at Maples Pavilion.
"Tonight was a great team performance," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "As a team, we've been working each day in practice to improve on a few things, and I thought we made progress there."
Jake Langlois led the Cougars with 14 kills on a .375 clip. Leo Durkin set the team with 32 assists while Erik Sikes chipped in eight digs. Brenden Sander had 10 kills and Tim Dobbert contributed nine kills, eight digs and four blocks in the win.
BYU (13-2, 7-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) took an early 7-4 lead in the first set against Stanford (9-6, 6-4 MPSF) with help from a Durkin service ace. A Dobbert kill extended the Cougars' advantage to six at 12-6. The Cardinal countered with a 4-1 run to come back within five, trailing 16-11, to force a BYU timeout. Another Dobbert kill put the Cougars ahead 21-15, but Stanford scored four of the next five points to keep within striking distance, down 22-19. BYU stayed ahead, however, with Langlois ending the set with a kill 25-21.
The Cardinal took a 5-2 lead to start the second set after a poor offensive start from the Cougars. A 6-2 BYU run, fueled by a pair of Sander kills, pushed the Cougars out front 8-7. Another BYU run, this time 4-0, gave the Cougars a 13-10 advantage. Sander and Joseph Grosh teamed up for a block that extended BYU's lead at 18-14 and back-to-back-to-back Sander kills kept the lead at 21-16. Stanford fought off two set points with the Cougars up 24-18, but a Langlois kill ended the set 25-20.
The Cardinal used a 7-2 run to take a 9-5 advantage at the beginning of the third set. Kills from Dobbert and Langlois brought BYU within two, down 10-8, before a Grosh kill evened the score at 11-all. The score was tight from there as a Wil Stanley ace gave the Cougars a two-point edge, up 18-16. A Dobbert service ace gave BYU match point at 24-20, and a Stanford attack error ended the set and match 25-21.
The Cougars return to Maples Pavilion Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. PST for a rematch with the Cardinal. The match will be streamed live on Pac-12.com. Links to live stats and the video feed can be found on the BYU men's volleyball schedule page.