Resilient Cougars defeat No. 14 Princeton 3-0 for second straight night

No. 8 BYU men’s volleyball defeated No. 14 Princeton 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-23) on Tuesday evening at the Smith Fieldhouse, sweeping the Tigers on back-to-back nights to improve to 7-1 and 4-0 at home.

24mVLB vs Princeton 1-23 11424mVLB vs Princeton 1-23 114

PROVO, Utah  — No. 8 BYU men’s volleyball defeated No. 14 Princeton 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-23) on Tuesday evening at the Smith Fieldhouse, sweeping the Tigers on back-to-back nights to improve to 7-1 and 4-0 at home.

"I'm proud of our players for taking on the task of playing four matches in five days," said BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. "They really found a way to win tonight after trailing in majority of the first set. I am proud of them for fighting through every point. Jon stepped in for us tonight and he had zero doubt about what he needed to do as a starter. He helps us out everywhere. We were grateful to have a program like Princeton here this week. Their staff could not stop complimenting the venue and were very appreciative of the hospitality and the fans."

The Cougars outhit the Tigers .370 to .265 on the night while totaling 37 kills, 37 assists, 22 digs and two blocks. Luke Benson led the team with 13 kills on a .650 clip to go along with two digs. Senior Jon Stanley recorded a season-high four put-aways in his second career start, including a decisive kill to claim the first set. Libero Jackson Fife had his first career start, posting a career-high seven digs to lead the team.

Trent Moser recorded 11 kills and six digs as the sophomore recorded a team-high 26 attacks.

BYU is now 5-0 all-time against Princeton.

Set One

Princeton began with a 6-5 lead after three straight service errors between both squads. After trading points, the Tigers took a 10-7 lead. Moser and Benson carded kills before the first service ace of the night by Moser helped trim the deficit to 12-11.

The Tigers then pushed the lead to 15-12. Following a service error and kill by the Tigers, Teon Taylor soared high on the right side for a slam. Seeking to gain momentum, BYU staved off an intended dump kill, but it was immediately hammered home to make it 17-14.

The Tigers maintained a lead in the ensuing rallies to extend the advantage to 21-17. Gavin Julien and Moser knotted the score before BYU took the lead off an attack error at 22-21. 

After leading 1-0 at the very start of the set, the Cougars couldn't reach another lead again until Moser quickly hammered it back on the weak side to make it 23-22. At 24-22, the set point proved lengthy, with Taylor and Julien joining forces for multiple double roof blocks to keep the point alive just long enough for Stanley to get a kill on the left side and win 25-22.

Set Two

With the score knotted at 6-6, Benson rattled off four straight kills, with each point assisted by Tyler Hergert. After an attack error by the Tigers, Benson soared high for yet another termination to extend the lead to 12-6.

The momentum didn’t stop there as two Princeton errors combined with kills from Moser and a service ace by Tyler Herget forced a timeout by the Tigers as BYU took a 16-7 advantage. Following the timeout, the teams traded kills for several points.

Up 19-11, two straight points won on serves gave BYU its first double-digit lead of the night. Princeton’s serve sailed deep, followed by the Cougars’ third ace of the second frame. Two service errors from Princeton made it 23-14 before a put-away by Moser made it set point at 24-15.

The Tigers made it 24-18, but a delicate tip kill by Moser sailed just above two defenders to claim the set 25-18.

Set Three

With BYU up 9-7, two straight attack errors by Princeton made it 11-7. Following a Cougar service error, Benson soared high for a put-away. At 13-11, Stanley maneuvered to the weak side and extended down the line for his fourth slam of the night, a new season-high for the senior.

Later in the set, the Tigers got within one at 17-16 after their first ace of the night by Ben Harrington. BYU responded by winning two of the next three points to extend the lead to 19-16 on a kill from Moser and a service error.

Princeton went on a 5-1 run to go up 21-20 before a tip kill by Julien equalized the score at 21 apiece. The teams traded points before two Tiger errors made it match point at 24-22. Following a Cougar error, a serve into the net ended the contest with BYU prevailing 25-23.

Up Next

BYU will host No. 7 UC Irvine on Friday and Saturday, with first serve on Friday set for 7 p.m. MST at the Smith Fieldhouse. The match will be televised on BYUtv and