(Photo by Marcos Escalona/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – For the second night in a row No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball dominated its opponent, sweeping UC San Diego 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-15) Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars (15-4, 15-2 MPSF) have not lost a set at home since Jan. 24 against Stanford.
“It was a chance for us to play some guys that we normally don’t and get some different guys in our lineup,” BYU head coach Chris McGown
said. “I thought the guys that came in played great. More than anything, we told the guys go hard at every point and play with a lot of energy, and I thought that was basically what we did.”
BYU was led by outside hitter Taylor Sander
’s 10 kills on a .556 hitting percentage. The No. 2 career kills leader at BYU is eight away from passing Rob Stowell for most in the rally-scoring era.
Senior Devin Young
added two service aces, two blocks and five kills, while Joseph Grosh
chipped in a couple of aces in addition to four blocks. Outside hitter Phil Fuchs
also added five kills.
In the first set, scoring was an even back-and-forth with the Tritons (2-19, 1-18 MPSF) until BYU ignited a run to take the lead 15-10 with the help of a couple Fuchs kills. The Cougars stretched the lead to 20-12 on opposite Tim Dobbert
’s kill. Young’s ace widened the advantage to 23-13. The Tritons took two more points before the Cougars clinched the set 25-15 on Tyler Heap
’s kill and then a UC San Diego serving error.
The second set played out a little closer. With the score at 8-8, BYU sparked a run with Sutton’s ace and Sander’s kill, taking an 11-8 lead and forcing a Triton timeout. Following the timeout, BYU twice extended its lead to four points before San Diego counterattacked and forced BYU to call a timeout with the set at 19-18. Sander‘s fifth kill on the night helped the team to a 20-18 lead before the Tritons knotted the set score at 20.
The Cougars forced their way ahead on two kills by Matt Underwood
and one by Robbie Sutton
, for a 24-21 advantage. After another Triton timeout, Sutton laid down the kill to take the set for BYU, 25-21.
The third set began with UC San Diego building a 6-5 lead before the Cougars proved to be too much for their opponent. Sander collected five kills in the set while Grosh tallied all four of his blocks and Kiril Meretev
and Sutton each contributed two as BYU coasted to the match-clinching 25-15 win.
The Cougars will be back in action against Cal Baptist Saturday at 7 p.m. MDT at the Smith Fieldhouse. The match will be broadcast live on BYU Radio.