Russell Lavaja and the Cougars will host the Cal Baptist Lancers Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
The No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team (18-7, 14-6 MPSF) hosts Cal-Baptist (18-8, 8-1 NAIA) for a two-match series on Friday and Saturday nights at the Smith Fieldhouse. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. MT.
The Cougars moved from third to second in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after sweeping then-No. 8 Long Beach State last week. BYU also moved up into second place in the AVCA poll with three first-place votes. The Cougars are 14 points from the Stanford Cardinal in first. With the longest win streak in the Nation at eight, the Cougars have swept their opponents since March 12.
The Lancers are ranked No. 1 in the NAIA after completing a weekend sweep of Cardinal Stritch. They are currently on a four-game win streak.
The Cougars and Lancers will be playing for the 12th and 13th times with BYU holding an 8-3 advantage over Cal-Baptist. Last year the Lancers came out with a 3-2 win over the Cougars on Jan. 15, 2009 in Provo. BYU holds an 8-2 record against Cal-Baptist in Provo.
Live stats are available at the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page at www.byucougars.com. Gametracker can be launched by clicking on the “Live Stats” link for the appropriate game on the schedule.
Extending its winning streak to eight games, the BYU men’s volleyball team defeated Long Beach State 3-1 Thursday and Friday nights. Although the Cougars started out hitting -.065 as a team in the first set, by set four they improved to .500. One block shy of the previous week’s record-breaking performance of 24.5 team blocks, the Cougars posted 23.5 team blocks to defeat the 49ers. Leading the Cougars on the attack as well as defense was sophomore Robb Stowell with 19 kills at .389 hitting, nine blocks (career-high) and 11 digs on Thursday; and 26 kills at .657 hitting and 11 digs on Friday. Thursday Stowell was one block away from a triple-double. Both nights he posted double-double performances, bringing the count to three on the season and five in his career. Thursday sophomore Futi Tavana posted 12 blocks (two solo) while senior Andrew Stewart chalked up 10 kills, eight digs and five blocks. On Friday, Stewart helped Stowell on the attack with 21 kills of his own, adding five digs and seven blocks. Senior setter Reed Chilton tallied 63 assists to help the team hit at .460. Tavana finished Friday night with eight kills on .636 hitting and eight blocks while senior Kevin Sagers also tallied eight kills on .429 hitting.
Stowell Gets Honor
Sophomore opposite hitter Robb Stowell was named AVCA National Player of the Week and MPSF Player of the Week April 5 after recording a double-double each night to lead to a pair of 3-1 wins at then-No. 8 Long Beach State. With stellar all-around play, Stowell led the Cougars with 19 kills at .389 hitting, 11 digs, two service aces, and nine blocks on Thursday. One block away from a triple-double in his all-around performance, Stowell tallied his second double-double of the season and the fourth of his career Thursday. On Friday, he posted 26 kills, tying his career record, set a new season high in hitting percentage at .657, while adding 11 digs for his third double-double of the season and the fifth of his career.