Cougars Conquer Warriors in Three
PROVO -- After four games on the road, the No. 3 Cougars returned to the Smith Field House and defeated the No. 8 Hawaii Warriors in a 3-0 match (25-18, 25-20, 25-22), Thursday.
“Our serving really got us off tonight and we put a lot of pressure on them in game one and two,” BYU interim head coach Rob Neilson said. “The way we ran our offense was what put us up. They really stepped it up and played well. It was a good overall win tonight and tomorrow we need to come in focused while working on our blocking as well as intensity.”
Hitting at a season-high .722 percent, Rob Stowell tallied a team-high 14 kills for the match. Teammates Taylor Sander and Futi Tavana also hit in double-digits, with Sander adding 11 kills and Tavana 10.
BYU started strong in the first set, holding the Warriors at two points during a 6-0 run to put them up 7-2. The Cougars continued to build off of their lead throughout the set with help from Sander and Tavana who contributed four kills each. Tavana put the ball down for the final point and ended the set at 25-18.
After rallying back-and-forth for the first six points in the second set, the Cougars jumped to a 13-7 lead over Hawaii. Similar to the first set, BYU kept a comfortable lead due to strong net play by Stowell who supplied the set-high six kills. The Cougars finished round two at 25-20.
Hawaii fought for the lead in the third set, tying the Cougars early on at 5-5, mid-way through the set at 13-13 and closer to game point at 17-17. A kill from Sander put BYU ahead and the Cougars continued on their way to a victory over Hawaii 25-22.
The BYU men’s volleyball team will be back in the Smith Fieldhouse tomorrow night for another face-off with the Hawaii Warriors at 7 p.m.
Back In The Fieldhouse Thursday & Friday
Thursday's match start has been changed to 8 p.m.
The third-ranked BYU men's volleyball team brings its talents back to the Smith Fieldhouse after almost a full month away with two matches against eighth-ranked Hawaii on Thursday and Friday, March 24 and 25, at 8 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Cougars split their last weekend series with Cal State Northridge on a 0-3 and 3-0 score on Friday and Saturday, respectively, to bring them to their 14-7 overall record.
Junior Robb Stowell leads the BYU attack on 296 kills and an overall .324 hitting percentage. Taylor Sander, Alex DaPron and Futi Tavana are also recording double-digit kills with 245, 129 and 163, respectively, while Tavana is currently the only BYU player to have recorded over 100 blocks this season with 110 total.
Setter Joe Kauliakamoa has recorded 635 assists this season as he paces the Cougar offense on an average of 9.48 per set. Setter Ryan Boyce has recently been splitting time with Kauliakamoa and has totaled 174 assists, and a 3.95 average per set.
The Warriors come to Provo with a six-match win streak in back-to-back-to-back sweeps over Pepperdine, Pacific and Long Beach State. Hawai’i is currently 12-9 overall and 10-6 in conference with Jonas Umlauft leading the way on 397 kills in a .335 overall attack. Joshua Walker and Steven Hunt are also attacking in double digits with 267 and 164 kills, respectively.
BYUtv will broadcast both matches live with play-by-play from Jarom Jordan and color commentary from Steve Vail. The match is also available online at byutv.org/live.
A rebroadcast of Thursday’s match will be available that same night at 10 p.m. MT and a rebroadcast of Friday’s match will be available after the match also at 10 p.m. MT.