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Braden Taylor | Posted: 21 Mar 2019 | Updated: 24 Dec 2020
Braden Taylor

Garcia Fernandez takes over in the fifth to beat Princeton


PROVO, Utah – Gabi Garcia Fernandez recorded seven kills in the fifth set to lead No. 7/8 BYU men’s volleyball to a five-set win over Princeton at the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday (19-25, 25-14, 22-25, 25-21, 15-10).

BYU vs. Princeton Final Box Score

Garcia Fernandez scored on three attack attempts to help give BYU a 6-3 advantage to start the fifth set. Princeton tied the set up at 6-all on back-to-back aces. Andrew Lincoln and Fernandez each each recorded kills to help the Cougars go up 10-7. Garcia Fernandez then capped off the comeback with three straight kills to win the set 15-10.

"Hats off entirely to Princeton – what a battle from those guys," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "I liked their attitude, their mindset and their approach to this match. They put it on us for a good part of this match and they were never out of it. We have to come out with a better mindset from the start and be a little tougher from the get-go."

Garcia Fernandez earned a team-high 22 kills on a .439 clip. Miki Jauhiainen recorded three services aces to tie his career best while also adding four total blocks. Felipe de Brito Ferreira earned a match-high 10 total blocks and Cyrus Fa’alogo led the team with 19 assists.

Jauhiainen gave BYU an early 2-0 lead with a service ace on the Cougars’ first serve of the match. Both teams traded points before Princeton used a six-point run to take a 10-5 advantage. A kill from Zach Eschenberg and five Tiger errors closed the gap to 12-11 before Princeton quickly re-extended its lead to 23-17. Garcia Fernandez earned two late kills, but the comeback came up short, with the Tigers taking the first set 25-19.

Jauhiainen and Gardini each recorded aces as BYU jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the second set. Lincoln recorded back-to-back kills to push the Cougars’ lead to 11-5. Jauhiainen earned his second service ace of the set to put BYU up 15-7. Brody Earnest scored the Cougars’ fourth ace of the set before a Garcia Fernandez kill and Princeton errors gave BYU the set 25-14.

Garcia Fernandez began the third set with two kills, giving the Cougars a 3-1 advantage. The Tigers took advantage of BYU errors and recorded three aces on their way to taking a commanding 13-5 lead. Garcia Fernandez added two more kills as the Cougars capitalized on Princeton errors to assist in cutting the deficit to 21-18. A block from Fa’alogo and Jauhiainen closed the Tigers’ lead to two points before Princeton took the set 25-22.

Kills from de Brito Ferreira, Garcia Fernandez and Gardini put BYU up 8-3 in the fourth set. Princeton came back to bring the score within two points, 15-13, before tying the game at 19-all. Garcia Fernandez recorded his fifth and sixth kills of the set to help BYU pull away 24-21. Lincoln and Jauhiainen blocked a Tiger attack attempt to clinch the fourth set 25-21 for the Cougars.

The Cougars will continue to host the BYU Invite and will compete next against McKendree at 7 p.m. MDT on Friday, March 22, at the Smith Fieldhouse. The match will be broadcast on and live stats can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.

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Caleb Turner | Posted: 20 Mar 2019 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Caleb Turner

No. 7/8 BYU to play final home matches in BYU Invite


PROVO, Utah — No. 7/8 BYU men’s volleyball hosts the BYU Invite this weekend, with matches against Princeton on Thursday, McKendree on Friday and undefeated No. 2 Hawai’i on Saturday. The team will honor its lone senior, Taylor Richards, in the final home match of the regular season against Hawai'i.

Week 11 Match Notes

No. 8 BYU (11-6, 6-3 MPSF)

  • The Cougars rose in the rankings for the second consecutive week after home wins against No. 4 UCLA and No. 6 Pepperdine, coming in at No. 7 in the Off the Block poll and No. 8 in the AVCA poll.

  • BYU swept the MPSF weekly awards with freshman Davide Gardini winning Offensive Player of the Week and sophomore Felipe de Brito Ferreira winning Defensive Player of the Week. De Brito Ferreira had a career night against Pepperdine, including a career-high 13 total blocks, the most for a Cougar since 2014.

  • As a team, the Cougars had a season-high 18.5 blocks against Pepperdine and lead the conference by a considerable margin with 2.57 blocks per set. Junior Miki Jauhiainen leads the MPSF in blocks individually with 1.16 per set.

  • Gabi Garcia Fernandez continues to lead the Cougars on offense with an MPSF-best 4.30 kills per set. He had a near-triple-double against Pepperdine on Saturday with 20 kills, eight digs and nine blocks.

  • Setter Brody Earnest was named Off the Block National Freshman of Week for his heroics off the bench in a five-set comeback win over UCLA and a 40-assist performance in his first start as a Cougar against Pepperdine. 

Princeton (10-9, 8-1 EIVA)

  • The Tigers are coming off of a bye week after starting conference play in the EIVA with an 8-1 record, including a four-set victory over No. 12 George Mason on Feb. 16. Prior to that, Princeton was 0-6 against ranked teams.

  • The two teams have met just twice, with BYU winning meetings in 2016 and 2017.

  • The Tigers are led on offense by two hitters in Parker Dixon (3.45 kills/set) and George Huhmann (3.20 kills/set). On defense, Greg Luck averages 1.15 digs per set and .73 blocks per set.

  • The Cougars best the Tigers in nearly every statistical category except for serving, where the Tigers hold a 1.8-1.3 advantage in aces per set.

McKendree (9-8, 6-4 MIVA)

  • The Bearcats are coming off of their third consecutive victory and second-straight sweep in a win over Lindenwood University on Sunday. They are 1-5 against ranked teams with the lone win coming against No. 11 Ball State on Feb. 7.

  • BYU and McKendree have also played each other just twice, with the Cougars winning two matches in January 2017 against the Bearcats.

  • Zach Schnittker and Patrick Ross lead the Bearcats on offense with 2.39 and 2.44 kills per set, while Francisco Comas brings in 2.38 digs per set on defense.

  • McKendree holds opponents to a stifling .242 hitting percentage compared to BYU’s .260, but BYU bests the Bearcats on offense with a .309 hitting percentage compared to just .243 for McKendree.

No. 2 Hawai’i (17-0, 4-0 Big West)

  • The Warriors have yet to lose a set this season with a 51-set win streak, including back-to-back sweeps over No. 12 CSUN last week.

  • BYU leads the all-time series against Hawai’i 41-19, with the Cougars’ last loss at home coming in 2003.

  • The Warriors are led by 6-foot-9 opposite hitter Rado Parapunov on offense, averaging 4.30 kills per set at a .533 clip. He earned his second AVCA National Player of the Week award this week. Joe Worsley adds 1.65 digs per set on the defensive end, while also leading the assist category with 11.76 per set.

  • Hawai’i averages 9.1 digs per set compared to BYU’s 7.8, but the Cougars out-block the Warriors 2.6-2.4 on a per-set average.

All three matches will begin at 7 p.m. MDT, with Thursday’s and Saturday’s being shown on BYUtv and Friday’s on Live stats can be found on the schedule page.

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