(Photo by BYU Photo)
MALIBU, Calif. – Combined play from pin hitters Jake Langlois, Brenden Sander and Tim Dobbert helped No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball handle No. 9 Pepperdine in straight sets (25-23, 25-23, 25-17) Friday night at Firestone Fieldhouse.
“This was a great all-around team performance from our guys,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They were assertive from the start of each set. We'll look to have that same mindset as we return to competition tomorrow night.”
Langlois led the Cougars with 15 kills while Sander and Dobbert each had 14. Additionally, Sander had a career-high tying four aces, Langlois had three blocks and Dobbert had eight digs. Leo Durkin set the team with 41 assists and had nine digs while Erik Sikes added nine digs of his own. Price Jarman contributed a team-high five blocks in the win.
Dobbert collected the first three points of the first set for BYU (16-2, 10-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) from a pair of kills and an ace to take a 2-1 edge against Pepperdine (6-8, 4-7 MPSF). Sander then collected two aces to extend the Cougars’ lead to four, 7-3. BYU maintained its advantage at 15-10 following another Sander ace, forcing a timeout from the Waves. After the break, Pepperdine countered with a 7-1 run to take a 17-16 lead, but kills by Dobbert and Langlois evened the score at 20-all. The Cougars had set point at 24-22 following Sander’s fourth ace, and he ended the close set 25-23 on a kill.
The Waves went up 3-2 early in the second set, but BYU scored the next four-consecutive points to go up 6-3. Pepperdine’s offense picked up from there as it took a 10-8 edge following a 7-2 rally, which included three aces from Mitchel Penning. A Jarman kill tied the set at 12 apiece, but the Waves went on another run, this time 5-2, to take the lead again at 17-13. A trio of Langlois kills helped the Cougars tie the set again at 19-all, and the teams remained within a point of each other from there as a Jarman solo block put BYU up 23-22. The Cougars closed out another close set 25-23 after consecutive errors from Pepperdine.
A kill from Jarman kept BYU on pace with the Waves to start the third set, tying things up at 5-5. Kills from Dobbert and Sander propelled the Cougars to a 10-8 advantage, forcing a Pepperdine timeout. Another Dobbert kill extended BYU’s lead to five at 14-9, but the Waves scored the next four-straight points to get back within a point, down 14-13. An 8-1 run from the Cougars ensued to re-extend BYU’s lead to eight at 22-14. Langlois eventually ended the set and match with a kill, 25-17.
The Cougars return to Firestone Fieldhouse Saturday, March 11, at 7 p.m. PST for a rematch. The match will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Links to the video stream and live stats can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.