No. 1 BYU back on the road
No. 1 BYU (15-3, 14-2 MPSF)
T-No. 9 Cal State Northridge (10-8, 8-8 MPSF)
No. 4 Long Beach State (16-6, 12-5 MPSF)
PROVO, Utah – The top-ranked BYU men’s volleyball team is back in action after a week off, traveling to take on No. 9 Cal State Northridge Friday and No. 4 Long Beach State Saturday at 7 p.m. PDT both nights.
The Cougars have held the No. 1 spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll for three straight weeks. BYU is also atop the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings, leading the next closest team by three matches.
The team is No. 1 in the MPSF in hitting percentage with a .322 attack and No. 1 in opponent hitting percentage, holding teams to a .241 clip.
Freshman Michael Hatch is first in the conference in blocks per set with 1.47. Junior Taylor Sander has the fourth-best service aces average at .41 while senior Russ Lavaja’s .485 hitting percentage is good for No. 4.
The Cougars are riding a seven-match win streak dating back to a 3-1 win over USC Feb. 16.
Cal State Northridge
Drew Staker leads the Matadors and the MPSF with a .508 hitting percentage.
Cal State Northridge is coming off back-to-back losses to UCSB, 3-1, and UCLA, 3-2. Against the Bruins, John Baker had 15 kills and Drew Staker hit .600 (10-1-15).
In the teams’ last meeting, BYU grabbed a 3-1 decision over Cal State Northridge Feb. 2 in Provo. The Cougars lead the overall series with the Matadors, 30-22.
Cal State Northridge hosts Cal Baptist Wednesday before welcoming BYU Friday in its home finale.
Long Beach State
Taylor Crabb leads Long Beach State and the MPSF with a 4.36 kills average and is third in points per set with 4.91.
Taylor Gregory has the third-best blocks average in the conference with 1.37 and Connor Olbright is third in assists with 10.82 per set.
As a team, the 49ers are No. 1 in digs in the MPSF with a 9.61 average.
Long Beach State started last week off with a loss to UCLA 3-2 before going on to defeat George Mason, 3-2, and IPFW, 3-0, in the Active Ankle Classic it hosted. Crabb had 18 kills in the sweep after a 21-kill night in the UCLA match.
The 49ers came away with the 3-2 win against BYU in Provo Feb. 1, but the Cougars hold the advantage in the overall series, 24-20.
Long Beach State takes on Cal Baptist Thursday before its matchup with BYU on Saturday.
After a road series against UC Irvine, the Cougars (5-1) moved up to No. 11 in this week’s AVCA coaches poll. BYU split…