Pepperdine sweeps BYU in MPSF semifinals
MALIBU, Calif. — BYU men’s volleyball lost in straight sets (25-17, 25-23, 25-18) to one-seed Pepperdine in the MPSF semifinals at Firestone Fieldhouse, ending the 2019 season for the Cougars.
Davide Gardini and Gabi Garcia Fernandez both had 10 kills and four digs, while Miki Jauhiainen added four blocks and Brody Earnest had 20 assists.
The Cougars (13-12, 6-6 MPSF) kept it within one, 11-10 early in the first set, but the Waves (21-6, 9-3 MPSF) were able to pull away to a 16-11 lead soon after. Pepperdine ended up taking the opening game, 25-17.
BYU once again kept it close with a 10-9 score in the second set, but fell behind by as many as five before bringing it back within two, 15-13 on a Pepperdine error. The Cougars once again fell behind by five, but came back and forced a Pepperdine timeout at 21-19. The Waves maintained the lead, however, and took the second set, 25-23.
MPSF Player of the Year David Wieczorek got his 14th kill of the night to give Pepperdine a 10-6 lead early in the third set. The Waves soon extended their lead to seven, 16-9, on an error from the Cougars. Gardini and Garcia Fernandez both reached double-digit kills in the third set, but it wasn’t enough as the Waves took the set and the match, 25-18.
Pepperdine goes on to play the winner of the USC and UCLA match on Saturday in the MPSF championship.
BYU takes on Pepperdine in MPSF semifinals
MALIBU, Calif. — BYU men’s volleyball travels to Malibu to play in the MPSF semifinals as a five seed against one-seed, and regular season champion, Pepperdine on Thursday at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Five-seed BYU (13-11, 6-6 MPSF)
The Cougars took down four-seed Stanford in five sets in Palo Alto last week, thanks to a career-high 14 kills from Felipe de Brito Ferreira, 13 digs from Andrew Lincoln and five blocks from Brody Earnest.
This is BYU’s fourth consecutive trip to the MPSF semifinals, after winning the tournament last year. If the Cougars beat Pepperdine they advance to the championship on Saturday, Apr. 20 against the winner of the USC-UCLA match on Thursday evening. The winner of the championship match receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Four Cougars were honored with MPSF awards last week, highlighted by Davide Gardini winning Freshman of the Year. He was also named to the All-MPSF Second Team and the All-Freshman Team. Gabi Garcia Fernandez was named to the All-MPSF First Team, Felipe de Brito Ferreira received honorable mention and Brody Earnest was named to the All-Freshman Team.
One-seed Pepperdine (20-6, 9-3 MPSF)
The Waves enter Thursday’s match on a five-match win streak, during which they have lost just one set. They earned a first-round bye and will play their first match of the tournament against the Cougars.
Pepperdine lost to USC in the quarterfinals of the MPSF tournament last year, but were able to come back and earn the one seed this year. BYU and Pepperdine split the season series this year, with each team winning on its home court.
Pepperdine outside hitter David Wieczorek was named MPSF Player of the Year last week, with Michael Wexter and Kaleb Denmark being named to the first and second All-MPSF teams, respectively.
The match begins at 5 p.m. PDT and links for streaming and stats can be found on the schedule page.