IRVINE, Calif. – Freshman opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez and No. 7 BYU men’s volleyball swept Concordia Irvine (25-21, 25-22, 25-15) Saturday afternoon at CU Arena.
“I'm happy with how the guys played today,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Our block was particularly effective, and I thought we competed well as a team.”
Fernandez led the Cougars with 11 kills, six digs and five blocks. Price Jarman collected a season-high eight blocks and Erik Sikes had seven digs. Leo Durkin contributed 32 assists and eight digs while Brenden Sander added nine kills in the win.
BYU (10-4, 3-0 MPSF) took a 6-4 lead early on in the first set after an Andrew Lincoln kill. A 3-1 Cougar run, capped off by a Miki Jauhiainen and Sander block, then increased BYU’s advantage against Concordia Irvine (5-6, 1-3 MPSF) to four, 12-8. A Jarman kill followed, extending the lead at 17-11, forcing an Eagle timeout. The Cougars stayed ahead 20-13, but a 4-1 rally by Concordia Irvine brought it back within four, down 21-17. BYU stayed ahead, however, winning the set 25-21 on a Fernandez kill.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 3-1 lead to start the second set. The Cougars scored the next four-straight points, though, to take a 5-3 edge. Back-to-back Concordia Irvine errors then pushed BYU ahead 10-7. The set remained close as a Sander ace kept the Cougars in the lead 13-12. The Eagles then inched ahead at 19-18 following an ace, but a Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga kill gave BYU the lead at 23-21. Fernandez then ended the set for the Cougars with a block, 25-22.
A pair of kills and an ace from Sander gave BYU a 7-3 advantage in the third set. A kill and block from Jarman then extended the lead to eight, 13-5. Concordia Irvine scored six of the next eight points to get back within four, down 15-11. A Fernandez kill made it 20-13 before a Fa’agata-Tufuga ace ended the set and match 25-15.
The Cougars stay on the road for their next match, traveling to face Stanford Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. PST. A live stream and live stats for the match can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.