PROVO, Utah – In a rematch of yesterday’s battle, No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball fell in three sets to No. 1 Long Beach State (25-21, 25-22, 25-21) on senior night at the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday.
“I felt like anytime we had a little lead, Long Beach State responded really well and stayed in it," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "Hats off to them for doing that. We had chances to get going and make a run but didn't take advantage of it."
In the fight for first place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, BYU (21-3, 14-2 MPSF) in now in second place behind Long Beach State (22-3, 15-2 MPSF) after this sweep. The Cougars were out-hit .477 to .303 in the match.
On senior night, senior Jake Langlois led the team in kills with 10, along with five digs. Price Jarman hit a .833 clip, hitting 5 for 6. Leo Durkin tallied 30 assists and led the team in digs with six.
The first set was back and forth, neither team gaining a big lead. Jarman scored three of BYU’s first five points, two from kills and one ace, to put the Cougars up 5-4. Following multiple ties and one-point leads for Long Beach State, BYU got back on top after Langlois found the corner down the line, making it 11-10. The 49ers were able to break away, going on a 4-0 run to go up by five, 21-16. However, the Cougars fought back, putting together three straight, two of which were kills from Tim Dobbert, to get within two, 23-21. The comeback fell short as Long Beach State took the first set, 25-21.
Brenden Sander got going in the second set. He notched four kills in the first eight BYU points, including a kill to put the Cougars up 8-7. Despite multiple service errors from the 49ers, the visiting squad led 15-13 at the media timeout. BYU trailed by three until Langlois drilled two-straight kills to get within one, 21-20. Long Beach State held on to the late barrage, winning the second set, 25-22.
After the 49ers jumped out to an early 6-3 lead in the third set, the Cougars got going. They went on an 8-1 run behind a pair of kills from Langlois and Sander. A kill from Ben Patch powered through the block to cap off the run, putting BYU up 11-7. Long Beach State got back in it, scoring four straight to take the 14-13 lead. Back-to-back kills from Patch tied the game at 15-15, but the 49ers started to pull away. At match point, Long Beach State missed the serve to keep the game going, but BYU returned the favor, a service error giving the 49ers the third set and final set, 25-21.
The Cougars are off next week and will return to action on April 6 and 7 at UC Santa Barbara.