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Royce Hinton | Posted: 28 Feb 2014 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Royce Hinton

Behind Underwood's career night, BYU sweeps USC


PROVO, Utah -- Sophomore Matt Underwood led No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball to a 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-16, 25-21) over No. 7 USC Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

“The best part about tonight was our serve and serve/receive,” BYU head coach Chris McGown said. “(USC) came in with a little bit of a different strategy to just try and put it on us and try and make us play. They held their service errors way down, but we did a really good job at the same thing. I thought we kept them out of system all night.”

BYU vs. USC Box Score

Highlights and Interviews

Underwood had a career-high 15 kills and three digs to go along with a career-high .542 clip. Senior Taylor Sander added an additional 15 kills and game-highs in service aces (four) and digs (seven). Sophomore Tyler Heap had a game-high 36 assists and sophomore Michael Hatch led the team in blocks with five total.

BYU (11-3, 11-1 MPSF) hit a .308 clip as a team while holding USC (10-6, 9-6 MPSF) to a .217 hitting percentage. The Cougars also led in service aces 6-0 and overall blocks 9.5-2.5.

Underwood got things started for the Cougars in the first set with a decisive kill. From there, the Trojans maintained a slight edge until BYU scored three-straight to tie things up 14-14 and force a USC timeout.

With the score tied at points 14 through 17, the Cougars went on a quick 3-1 run to jump ahead 20-17. BYU was able to maintain its lead until set point, where a Trojan attack error gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead, 25-22.

Another Underwood kill capped off a 4-1 BYU run to open the second set, but USC stormed back to cut the Cougar advantage to just one at 6-5.

After the Trojans tied the set at three consecutive points, Sander scored with a service ace to help pull his team ahead 16-13. USC called its first timeout of the set after Underwood set a new career high in kills (previous high was 10), pushing BYU’s advantage to 19-15. The Trojans scored just one point after the timeout as the Cougars easily cruised to a 25-16 set two victory from a Josue Rivera kill.

The third set was tightly contested coming out of the intermission, with neither team taking more than a one-point lead until two-straight team blocks put BYU up 12-10. The score remained close following the Cougars’ first timeout of the third set, with USC tying the score at 19 for the first time since the 10-10 mark.

A kill from Rivera completed the 3-0 sweep with a 25-21 set-three win to keep BYU with a perfect home record.

“Matt (Underwood) had a great night tonight. That’s a position that teams will overlook to some extent because we’ve been running different guys through that spot, but Matt had a really nice night,” McGown said.

BYU continues play at home Saturday night as the Cougars host No. 4 Pepperdine at 7 p.m. MST. The match will be broadcast live on BYUtv. Links to live stats and a video stream can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.

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rachelhawks | Posted: 25 Feb 2014 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

No. 2 men's volleyball hosts USC, Pepperdine


PROVO, Utah—No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball returns to the Smith Fieldhouse for the first time in a month, hosting No. 7 USC and No. 4 Pepperdine Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Both matches will be broadcast live on BYUtv and streamed on They will begin at 7 p.m. MST.

BYU (10-3, 10-1 MPSF) held onto its No. 2 ranking after a bye week. The Cougars reached second place after defeating then-No. 8 Stanford in a five-set thriller on the road Feb. 15. BYU is No. 1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

The Cougars are led by Taylor Sander, who is now No. 3 at BYU for career kills during the rally-scoring era with 1,451. Sander averages 4.46 kills per set this season, good for No. 4 in the nation.

Michael Hatch is No. 3 in the country for blocks per set with 1.49. Leading on the back row is Jaylen Reyes with 1.69 digs per set.

USC’s back row is led by Henry Cassiday with 3.10 digs per set. Andy Benesh leads the nation in hitting percentage with a .518 clip, and Micah Christenson is No. 2 nationally in assists per set with 11.70.

The Trojans (9-5, 8-5 MPSF) will face Cal Baptist Wednesday on the road. USC comes off two wins against Hawai’i at home.

The last time BYU met USC, the Cougars won 3-2 on the road Feb. 1.

Pepperdine (8-3, 8-3 MPSF) is led by Josh Taylor with 4.46 kills per set, good for No. 3 in the nation. Nikola Antonijevic averages 1.43 blocks per set, good for No. 4 nationally.

The Waves will play at Cal Baptist Thursday before traveling to Utah. Pepperdine hosted Cal Baptist Saturday and defeated the Lancers 3-1.

The last time BYU faced Pepperdine, the Waves pulled off the win in Malibu, Calif., 3-2 Jan. 31.

Links to live stats and live streaming for both matches will be available on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.

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