NEWARK, N.J. – Tim Dobbert led No. 3 BYU men's volleyball past NJIT in three sets (25-22, 25-19, 25-19) Saturday night at the Fleisher Center.
"I'm happy with the team effort and focus we played with tonight," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "It was nice to play different guys while still competing at a high level. The team had a great weekend."
Dobbert led the Cougars with 12 kills, nine blocks and seven digs. Michael Hatch tied Dobbert with a team-high nine blocks to go along with five digs. Jake Langlois chipped in double-digit kills with 10 and added five digs and five blocks. Price Jarman tied his season-high seven kills on a career-high .700 clip and Erik Sikes had a team-high eight digs in the win. Additionally, Leo Durkin added 21 assists.
BYU (10-2, 6-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) took a 6-4 advantage early in the first set after a Dobbert kill. An overpass kill from Jarman then extended the Cougars' lead to five at 10-5. NJIT (0-8, 0-0 Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) stayed in the set, however, taking the next three points to come back within a pair at 10-8. BYU capped off a 5-1 run on a Hatch kill to go up 16-11, forcing a Highlander timeout. The Cougars took a six-point advantage at 20-14 following a Jarman kill down the middle, but an 8-2 NJIT rally brought it back within two, down 22-20. A Highlander attack error brought up BYU's first set point and and another error gave the Cougars the set 25-22.
NJIT got off to a hot start in the second set, going up 5-1 with help from a pair of aces. BYU regrouped out of a timeout with a 7-2 rally as a Hatch and Kiril Meretev block gave the Cougars their first lead of the set at 8-7. The teams remained within a point of each other from there until another Dobbert kill gave his team a 12-10 edge. The teams kept the competitive set going until the Highlanders gave up a 4-1 BYU run to give it a 17-14 lead, forcing an NJIT timeout. The Cougars took their first set point on a Highlander hitting error and a Joseph Grosh kill ended the set 25-19.
BYU jumped out to a 4-1 lead to start the third set after a kill and block from Langlois. NJIT knotted the set back up at 6-6 after consecutive kills from Raymond Kowalski. The Cougars were then fueled by a 5-0 spurt, which included an ace from Robbie Sutton, to go up 13-8. A kill from Langlois then extended BYU's lead to seven at 17-10. The Highlanders fought back within three, down 22-19, before the Cougars closed out the set 25-19 on back-to-back Dobbert and Hatch blocks.
The Cougars stay on the road next week when they face off against Cal Baptist Friday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. PST. Links to live stats and a video stream can be found on the BYU men's volleyball schedule page.