PROVO, Utah – No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball took down Cal Baptist in four sets (25-16, 25-17, 28-30, 25-15) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse after recording 11 service aces, including a career-high five from Jake Langlois.
“One of our points was to come out aggressive and assertive from the start,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said “We were happy that we were serving well in the first set, and I felt that we could put a lot of pressure on (the Lancers) and their serves, and we did that tonight. Our guys stayed very well composed. At one point when I had some doubt, I made some changes and the guys responded very well. I was happy with that."
The Cougars’ 11 services aces were the fifth-most in a match in BYU rally-scoring era history, just one ace short of the season high (12). Five of the service aces belonged to Langlois, who logged a career-high. His five were sixth-most by a Cougar all-time at BYU.
The Cougars (15-2, 9-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) hit at a .360 clip, in comparison to the Lancers’ (3-14, 1-12 MPSF) .223 hitting percentage. Three players logged double-digit kills, Langlois with 15, Brenden Sander with 14 and Tim Dobbert with 12. Leo Durkin and Mitchel Worthington each recorded a match-high seven digs in the win.
BYU got off to a strong start with Langlois serving in the first set as it took five-straight points. Cal Baptist got on the board after a bad Cougar serve, and the two teams traded points from there with the Lancers slowly closing in on the BYU lead. Three-straight Cougar points then extended to seven, 16-9.
Follwing an ace by Dobbert, Cal Baptist called a timeout. BYU continued its run, however, and logged another two points due to a Lancer error and a Langlois kill, 18-10. Kills by Price Jarman and Dobbert, as well as errors on Cal Baptist’s part, maneuvered the Cougars comfortably to set point, and BYU took the first game 25-16.
Again the Cougars took the first points of the second set, this time with a pair from Sander. The Lancers were quick to answer, tying the game at 2-2. BYU logged kills from Langlois and Jarman, but Cal Baptist went on a 4-0 run to tie the set up again at 8-8. BYU got consecutive points with Durkin serving, and the Cougars collected a larger lead after two-straight service aces from Langlois, 15-11, before Cal Baptist called a timeout.
BYU extended its edge to seven, 22-15, using kills by Sander, Jarman and Lagnlois, and errors by the Lancers. A service ace from Sander kept the momentum on the side of the Cougars as they arrived at set point after a service error by Cal Baptist. Unable to convert on their first try, BYU took the second set after another Lancer service error, 25-17.
A kill by Joseph Grosh started off the third set for the Cougars, and the contest remained close between the two teams. BYU began to pull away following a monster kill by Dobbert and an eighth service ace, this one from Durkin, 11-6. But the Lancers followed with a 6-2 run to cut the lead to only one, 14-13.
A substitution infraction on the Cougars, however, negated three of their points, giving the lead to the Lancers, 13-11. BYU quickly began to work to earn them back, using two Langlois kills and a Cal Baptist service error, tying the set at 14-all. The set remained tied at at points 15 through 18 before BYU found two-straight points, kills by Sander and Langlois. The Lancers tied the set again, however, at 22 and 23, and arrived at set point, 24-23, with a kill. Following five unsuccessful attempts, the Lancers finally took the set with another kill, 30-28.
Yet again, BYU took the first point of the fourth set and recorded its tenth ace of the night as it went up 5-2. The 11th and final ace of the night came from Langlois, doubling the Lancers’ score, 14-7. A monster bock from Sander then got the crowd on its feet and gave BYU a double-digit lead at 17-7.
Sander later came up with a huge kill to push the Cougars to 20 points, and Langlois would follow suit shortly after with two kills of his own. The Lancers took four-straight points to shorten the lead to single digits, but BYU arrived at set point too quickly, and won the set by 10, 25-15, following a kill by Tanner Skabelund.
Next, the Cougars will compete in a two-match series against Pepperdine in Malibu, California, at Firestone Fieldhouse on March 10 and 11 with both matches beginning at 7:00 p.m. PST. The matches will be broadcast live on TheW.tv.