Sander and Fernandez help No. 6 BYU past No. 14 Ball State 3-1
MUNCIE, Ind. – The play of Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Brenden Sander helped No. 6 BYU men’s volleyball past No. 14 Ball State in four sets (25-19, 16-25, 25-15, 25-20) Friday night at Worthen Arena.
“I'm happy for the team on a good road win,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “It was a nice team effort on our part to stay the course after losing the second set.”
Sander led the Cougars in kills with 17 on a .452 clip while Fernandez collected 13 kills on a .458 hitting percentage, a career-high 11 digs and a career-high three aces. Leo Durkin set the team with 38 assists to go with eight digs. Miki Jauhiainen had five blocks and Price Jarman added seven kills on a .538 clip in the win.
A kill from Jauhiainen helped BYU (2-1) take a 4-2 advantage early in the first set against Ball State (2-1). A Jarman overpass kill capped off a 3-1 Cougar run to increase the lead to three at 13-10. Back-to-back Sander kills made it 17-14 and a back-row Sander attack pushed the lead to four, 22-18. An ace from Fernandez brought up set point at 24-19, and a Fernandez kill gave BYU the set 25-19.
Four-straight errors from the Cardinals to start the second set put the Cougars ahead 4-1, forcing a timeout from Ball State. A Jarman kill made it 10-6 BYU, but the Cardinals countered with a 4-0 run to even the score at 10-all. Another Ball State rally, this time 7-1, pushed the Cardinals in front by four, 17-13. Ball State cruised from there, taking the set 25-16 to even the score.
A trio of Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga kills and an ace helped the Cougars take an 8-4 lead in the third set. BYU stayed ahead 14-9 with another kill from Fa’agata-Tufuga, and a pair of Sander kills extended the advantage to seven at 19-12. Two errors from the Cardinals and an ace from Fernandez then gave the Cougars the set 25-15.
BYU had a 4-2 lead to open up the fourth set, but Ball State scored the next three points to take a 5-4 edge. The set remained close until another Fa’agata-Tufuga kill pushed the Cougars ahead 13-11. The teams remained within two points of each other until an attack error from the Cardinals made it 22-19 for BYU. One final dig and kill from Fernandez then ended the set and match 25-20 for the Cougars.
BYU stays on the road next, traveling to Columbus, Ohio, to face off against No. 1 Ohio State at St. John Arena Saturday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. EST.
No. 6 BYU heads to Midwest for two MIVA matchups
PROVO, Utah – No. 6 BYU men’s volleyball heads to the Midwest this week to face off against two Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) opponents: No. 14 Ball State and No. 1 Ohio State.
BYU (1-1) split its matches last week, falling to No. 13 Loyola-Chicago in five sets before defeating No. 6 Lewis in four.
No. 14 Ball State
- The Cougars will face off against the Cardinals (2-0) Friday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. EST at Worthen Arena in Muncie, Indiana.
- Ball State is coming off of two home wins last week against Lees-McRae and Emmanuel.
- BYU is 10-4 all-time against the Cardinals – most recently picking up two sweeps during the 2015 season.
No. 1 Ohio State
- The Cougars will finish out the week at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio, facing the Buckeyes (1-0) Saturday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. EST.
- Ohio State won its only match of the season last week at home against North Greenville.
- BYU owns an 11-6 advantage in the overall series history; however, the Buckeyes have won each of the past two matches during the national championship matches of the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Links to video streams and live stats for the week can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.