PROVO, Utah – Behind seven aces, No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball swept No. 9 Stanford (25-19, 25-21, 25-18) in the quarterfinals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament at the Smith Fieldhouse Saturday night.
“We were really aggressive from the service line tonight," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "We got them out of their system. All credit to our servers, who are the start of our defense. We didn't allow any runs over a couple of points throughout the match, which was key as well."
BYU (24-3, 16-2 MPSF) out-hit Stanford (13-13, 8-10 MPSF) .315 to .182 in the win. Serving was the difference in the win as the Cougars notched seven aces and the Cardinal had 17 service errors.
Tim Dobbert led all players with 13 kills to go with his four blocks and two aces. Brenden Sander led the way from the service line, tallying three aces along with seven kills and four digs. On defense, setter Leo Durkin had five digs to go with his 27 assists and Erik Sikes had a team-high eight digs.
In the first set, BYU’s first three points all were from Stanford errors. The Cougars’ first earned point came when Dobbert tipped the ball through the Cardinal's block to put the home team up 4-2. BYU started to run away with it after going on a 4-1 run, made up of two team blocks and two backrow kills from Sander, making it 11-6. The Cardinal missed seven serves in the first set, including one that gave the Cougars an 18-13 lead. A kill from Dobbert gave BYU its biggest lead at 20-14. Joseph Grosh drilled a quick kill to give the Cougars the set one victory, 25-19.
The Cardinal came out strong in the second set. The errors were still there, giving BYU four of its first five points, but the two teams traded leads throughout the set. After Jake Langlois killed the ball down the line to tie the game, Stanford scored three straight to take the 11-8 lead. However, BYU immediately responded, scoring five in a row - behind two aces from Langlois to get back up 13-11. When the Cardinal tied the game at 15-15, the Cougars fought back again, this time going on a 4-0 run - capped off with an ace from Dobbert - to make it 19-15. BYU would hold onto the lead as Stanford missed the serve on set point to give the home squad the 25-21 win.
Price Jarman started off the third set with back-to-back kills. Dobbert’s kill down the line gave the Cougars’ the early 4-1 advantage. Errors continued to be the story for the Cardinal, giving away four points in a row from missed serves and hits. Sander tooled the ball off of the Stanford block to push the lead to 11-7. Dobbert earned a tool of his own and Jarman and Durkin teamed up for a block to make it 19-15, forcing a timeout from the visitors. BYU was able to hold the lead until the end, taking the final set 25-18 after two-straight blocks.
The Cougars will move on to the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament on Thursday, April 20. The location is yet to be determined.