Patch and No. 1 BYU battle strong to win over No. 8 Pepperdine


PROVO, Utah — Sophomore opposite Ben Patch led No. 1 BYU men’s volleyball over No. 8 Pepperdine in three sets (28-26, 25-19, 25-20) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

“It took us a bit to get started,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I felt like our guys got a little tentative in the first set. Pepperdine's hands were in our faces, blocking touches, and I felt like it took a little bit out of us. Even if we got a few points, we put off the gas and they came right back. As always though, glad to get a win.”

Patch led BYU with 18 kills on a .452 clip. Leo Durkin had his second career double-double with 42 assists and a career high of 12 digs. Price Jarman led the team with seven blocks and five kills. Jake Langlois and Brenden Sander each added double-digit kills with 12 and 11, respectively, in the win.

Kills from Patch and Langlois led BYU (17-2, 13-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) to a 3-1 lead over Pepperdine (10-7, 9-7 MPSF) at the start of the first set. The Waves battled back after two kills and a BYU attack error, closing the gap at 6-5. BYU then took the lead by one point with a kill from Patch. The Waves countered with a 7-2 rally to take an 11-8 advantage. BYU fought back to tie the set 15-all with two more Patch kills. With kills from Jarman and Sander, BYU took the lead 19-18. Langlois and Jarman teamed up to block the Waves, taking a 24-23 lead and forcing set point. The two teams were tied from that point on until kills from Patch and Sander allowed the Cougars to take the close set 28-26.

After two kills from Michael Hatch and four back-to-back blocks from Jarman, Langlois and Durkin, the Cougars led 7-3 at the beginning of the second set. The Waves rallied back with six kills, closing the gap at 10-all. With two-consecutive kills from Patch, the Cougars took the lead 14-11 over Pepperdine. Following a trio of kills from Hatch, Langlois and Patch, the Cougars pulled ahead 20-15. An attack error from Pepperdine allowed the Cougars to take the second set 25-19.

A trio of kills from Hatch, Sander and Patch helped the Cougars take the lead 3-1 at the start of the third set. The Waves quickly rallied with a nine-point streak to take the lead 10-9 over the Cougars. With an ace from Sander and three back-to-back Patch kills, the Cougars took control of the game and led the Waves 15-12. With nine kills at the end of the third set, the Cougars kept their advantage and wrapped up the match 25-20. 

The Cougars will face off against Pepperdine again Saturday, March 19, at 7:00 p.m MDT in a rematch at the Smith Fieldhouse. The match will be broadcast live on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio - Sirius XM 143.