No. 4 BYU sweeps USC in MPSF Semifinals
PROVO, Utah – No. 4 BYU men’s volleyball defeated USC in three sets (25-17, 25-17, 25-22) Thursday evening at the Smith Fieldhouse to earn a spot in the MPSF Championship.
“I really like the way our guys came out,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "I thought our offense did a really nice job and was clicking on all cylinders. Overall, I'm happy with the performance."
Gabi Garcia Fernandez, Cyrus Fa'alogo and Brenden Sander all led the team with 12 kills apiece. Fernandez also led the team with three aces and Sander contributed two. Leo Durkin set the team with 41 assists and Zach Hendrickson contributed seven digs in the win.
The No. 1 seeded Cougars (21-6) and No. 6 seeded Trojans (8-20) traded blows at the start of the first set with neither team taking more than a two-point lead. Back-to-back Sander aces helped push the Cougars on a 10-1 run to bring them up 20-12. The Trojans fired back with a few points of their own, but it didn’t prove to be enough as a kill from Sander gave BYU the set, 25-17.
Set two proved to be a close one for the two teams, with neither team again taking more than a two-point lead early on. An ace from Felipe de Brito Ferreira gave the Cougars a 9-8 edge. The teams continued to trade blows until a block by Ferreira carried the Cougars to a 16-13 lead – the largest lead of the set to that point. Back-to-back Fernandez aces helped BYU to a 23-17 advantage, and a kill from Price Jarman gave BYU the set, 25-17.
The Cougars secured an early 4-2 lead in the third set. A kill from the Trojans then tied the set up at 6-6. A Fa’alogo kill pushed the Cougars up 8-6. USC eventually went on a 5-0 run to take the lead at 14-10 – its largest of the set. Fernandez’s third ace of the night shortened the Trojan’s lead back to one, 19-18. A block from Miki Jauhiainen and Jarman tied it up 20-20. The two teams remained neck-and-neck until the Cougars pulled away to secure the set and match, 25-22.
The Cougars return to the Smith Fieldhouse to face No. 2 seed UCLA in the MPSF Championship match Saturday, April 21, at 7 p.m. MDT. The match will be televised live on BYUtv and streamed by SportsLive.
No. 2 seed UCLA vs. No. 4 seed Concordia Irvine
PROVO, Utah — No. 2 UCLA men’s volleyball advanced to the championship match of the MPSF tournament after beating No. 13 Concordia Irvine in four sets (26-28, 25-21, 26-24, 25-18) Thursday at the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 6-2 lead, but the Bruins fought to even the game at 17-all. After a timeout, UCLA came out and took the lead and managed to stay on top until set point, 24-21. A 7-2 run by Concordia gave the Eagles set one, 28-26.
In set two, neither team was able to take a lead larger than three points for the majority of the set. With a 15-13 Concordia lead, the Bruins answered with six-straight points to take a 19-15 advantage. UCLA went on to take set two, 25-21.
Set three proved to be another close one as the Eagles took a 16-13 advantage, the largest lead of the set. The Bruins evened the score once again at 18-all and eventually took a 23-21 lead. At set point, an attack error gave UCLA the set, 26-24.
Five-straight points by the Bruins gave them an early 13-9 lead in set four. Concordia was unable to put together a run as UCLA continued to increase the lead and ultimately take the set and match, 25-18.