Junior outside hitter Kevin Sagers (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
The No. 4 BYU men’s volleyball team (14-7, 10-6 MPSF) remains at home this week as it hosts No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (10-11, 7-8 MPSF) for a two-match series on Friday and Saturday nights in the Smith Fieldhouse. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. MT and be televised live on BYU-TV Friday and tape-delayed Saturday, airing at 10 p.m. MT.
The Cougars are tied with Hawai’i for four-place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings after a pair of wins over USC last week. Senior outside hitter Andrew Stewart earned MPSF Co-Player of the Week honors after combining for 43 kills over the two matches.
The Gauchos sit in ninth place in the conference standings after dropping a close five-set match at Pepperdine on March 13. They are led by Jeff Menzel who averages 5.41 kills per set.
BYU holds a 23-18 series advantage over the Gauchos thanks mostly to a 10-match winning streak between 1998 and 2003. The Cougars have beaten the Gauchos in seven of the last eight meetings. In total, 24 of the 41 decisions between the two have ended in sweeps while only four times has the competition gone to five sets, including the two matchups in 2009.
Both matches will be broadcast live on BYU-TV. Fans may watch a live stream at www.byu.tv. Play-by-play will be provided by Jarom Jordan, with Steve Vail lending color analysis.
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. 7 USC last weekend in Provo. Senior outside hitter Andrew Stewart totaled 43 kills over the two matches, including a career-high 27 on Friday. Senior opposite Kent Tuttle also posted double-digit kills both nights, while sophomore middle blocker Russell Lavaja totaled 14 blocks on the weekend.