(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
The No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball team (16-7, 12-6 MPSF) travels to No. 8 Long Beach State (12-11, 8-8 MPSF) for a two-match series on Thursday and Friday nights at the Walter Pyramid. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. PT.
The Cougars moved from tied for fourth to third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after sweeping UC Santa Barbara last week. BYU clinches a spot in the tournament playoffs with one win this week or one loss by both UCSB and UCI.
The 49ers are currently tied with USC in the MPSF standings after beating unranked Pacific last Friday and losing to No. 1 Stanford on Saturday.
Long Beach St. holds a slight advantage in the all-time series record over BYU (18-17). In the last two meetings in Provo on March 20 & 21 in 2009, the Cougars swept the 49ers in two 5-set matches. LBSU has won five of the last nine meetings between the two teams, however the Cougars have claimed wins in eight of the last nine meetings in Provo. In total, BYU is 3-6 in three-set matches, 7-8 in four-set matches, and 7-4 in five-set matches against the 49ers.
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.
BYU is coming off a weekend sweep of No. 10 UC Santa Barbara last weekend in Provo. Sophomore opposite hitter Robb Stowell totaled 37 kills over the two matches, leading the Cougars with 22 kills on Friday. Sophomore middle blocker Futi Tavana led the Cougars to a new all-time BYU record 24.5 team blocks with 15 total blocks on Saturday. The 15 total blocks Tavana tallied was also a new BYU record, breaking his old record of 13 set against LBSU on March 21, 2009. Senior setter Reed Chilton tallied 95-of-111 assists over the two days while senior outside hitter Kevin Sagers came off the bench to led the attack on Saturday with 18 kills. Senior outside hitter Andrew Stewart also posted double-digit kills both nights, while sophomore middle blocker Russell Lavaja totaled 14 blocks on the weekend.