Cougars upset No. 1 Hawai'i at home

slee | Posted: 11 Apr 2021 | Updated: 11 Apr 2021
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PROVO, Utah – Brenden Sander and Matt Underwood combined for 27 kills to help No. 6 BYU men’s volleyball upset No. 1 Hawai’i in four sets (27-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-17) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

"I thought the thing we did best was execute the game plan and play with energy," BYU volleyball head coach Chris McGown said. "We did a nice job serving and, ultimately, passed well enough to run our offense. I know how it feels to go on a long trip and play in somebody else's gym where they play well, so it's fun to get that feeling back in the Fieldhouse." 

Sander finished with a team-high 14 kills on a .423 hitting clip to go along with a career-high five blocks and two service aces. Underwood followed with 13 kills, six digs and three blocks on the night.

Robbie Sutton added 46 assists, seven digs and a career-high six blocks, with Price Jarman finishing with a career-high nine blocks and tying a career-high nine kills on a .533 clip. Michael Hatch contributed seven kills on a .600 clip with Kiril Meretev adding seven kills and five digs of his own.

BYU and Hawai’i opened the first set trading points until Underwood and Phil Fuchs’ kills gave the Cougars a 9-7 lead. Following Fuchs’ backrow kill and a block by Sander and Jarman, BYU extended its lead 15-12. After Hawai’i tied the set at 25 apiece, the Cougars responded with Hatch’s kill and Underwood’s service ace to take the set 27-25. 

Starting the second set tied at seven, Sander’s fourth kill of the set put BYU back up 11-8. Three consecutive blocks by the Cougars extended their lead 16-10 as part of a 4-0 run. The Rainbow Warriors cut their deficit 18-16 until Sander answered with consecutive kills to hold onto a 20-16 lead. With a two-point lead by BYU, Underwood’s kill and a hitting error by Hawai’i gave BYU the set 25-21.

Both teams went into a back-and-forth battle in the third set until the Rainbow Warriors took a 14-11 lead. The Cougars took a quick 16-15 lead after a 4-0 run that included a block and kill by Jarman. Despite tying the game at 19 apiece following consecutive BYU kills, Hawai’i took the set 25-21.

With consecutive BYU blocks and a kill by Meretev, the Cougars took a 10-6 lead in the fourth set. Sander’s 14th kill of the night and consecutive blocks by Jarman and Sander pushed the lead up 19-12. BYU ended Hawai’i’s 3-0 run with Meretev’s kill and Sander’s service ace to maintain its seven-point lead and take the match.

The Cougars finished the night with a .314 clip and 14.5 team blocks to Hawai’i’s 5.5 blocks.

BYU and Hawai’i rematch on Saturday’s senior night for its final regular-season match at 7 p.m. MDT in the Smith Fieldhouse. The match will be broadcast live on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio. Links to live stats and a video feed can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page

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