Cougars Record Second-Straight Sweep
PROVO -- The No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball improved to 6-2 overall after sweeping UC Irvine (25-22, 25-15, 25-17) Friday, their second-consecutive win.
Junior Rob Stowell and freshman Taylor Sander recorded 11 kills each and added five and four digs respectively, helping the Cougars to a season-high .571 hitting percentage.
“Our guys played well and it’s nice to be back in the Fieldhouse,” said BYU head coach Rob Neilson. “They’re a very good team and we did a really nice job from the service line and receiving serves, and those are two keys to playing a high level of volleyball.”
Stowell led the offensive attack for the Cougars in the first set, converting four of seven attacks. BYU recorded four team blocks and a .423 hitting percentage en route to 25-22 victory and the early set advantage.
Sander, who led the Cougars in kills for set one, added two kills and three digs in the first frame.
The Cougars took a 14-7 lead in the second set after junior Alex Dapron recorded his second kill of the set and sixth of the match. BYU would extend its lead to 20-13 and take the 25-15 set behind two kills and four digs from Stowell.
After UC Irvine took an early 5-3 lead in set three, BYU countered with a 5-1 run to claim an 8-6 advantage. A big service ace from Stowell made the score 16-9 set the Cougars up for a comfortable 25-17 victory in game three. Stowell and Sander each recorded four kills in the final set.
Junior middle blocker Futi Tavana added eight kills and six blocks with an .800 hitting percentage in the Cougars’ first home win of the season.
BYU and UC Irvine square off again Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.
First Home Matches This Friday and Saturday
The No. 3 BYU men's volleyball team will play its 2011 home opener this weekend against No. 7 UC Irvine on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 28 and 29, at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars host the Anteaters with an overall 5-2 record after, most recently, sweeping the Pacific Tigers on Jan. 21 and 22.
Freshman Taylor Sander and junior Robb Stowell lead the team with 90 and 89 kills, respectively. Stowell has recorded double-figure kills in every match he's played in this season. Senior Otavio Souza is hitting .483 on the season with teammate Futi Tavana contributing a .360 attacking percentage.
BYU opponents are averaging 8.4 kills per set against them compared to the 10.8 that the Cougars are averaging.
The Anteaters have one player who has already recorded double-digit kills
this season with 142 total from Carson Clark. They're averaging a .349 attacking percentage and 13 kills per set.
UC Irvine comes to Provo with a 4-4 overall record after winning their upset match against No. 6 Pepperdine on Jan. 22 in a five-set thriller.
Both games this weekend will be broadcast live on BYUtv and online at byutv.org/live. Gametracker is also available through the BYU men's volleyball schedule page.
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