Caleb Turner | Posted: 13 Mar 2019 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

No. 9 BYU resumes MPSF play

main image

PROVO, Utah — No. 9 BYU resumes MPSF play this week with matches against No. 4 UCLA on Thursday and No. 6 Pepperdine on Saturday at home in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Week 10 Match Notes

No. 9 BYU (9-6, 3-2 MPSF)

  • The Cougars rose in the rankings to No. 9 after a four-set victory over No. 3 UC Irvine last Thursday in the Smith Fieldhouse, followed by a close loss the following day.

  • BYU recorded 12 blocks in the win over UCI, marking the second time this season the Cougars have totaled 12 or more blocks in a match. BYU leads the MPSF in blocks per set with 2.49 and junior middle blocker Miki Jauhiainen leads the conference individually with 1.24 blocks per set after he had nine against UCI. Nationally, the Cougars rank No. 5 in blocks and Jauhiainen ranks No. 7.

  • Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Davide Gardini continue to lead the Cougars on offense, both totaling more than 20 kills each in the win over UCI. Garcia Fernandez leads the MPSF and is second in the nation in kills per set with a 4.41 average.

  • Felipe de Brito Ferreira was the bright spot in the Saturday’s loss for the Cougars, going off for two career highs with 12 kills and a .857 hitting percentage, giving him the best hitting percentage at BYU (minimum 12 kills) since 2006 when Yosleyder Cala had an identical hitting line of 12-0-14. De Brito Ferreira is now tied for the second-best hitting percentage on a 12-kill minimum in BYU history.

  • BYU remains in a tie for third place in the MPSF with Stanford at 4-3. Both teams are undefeated at home in conference play but have also yet to win a match on the road.

No. 4 UCLA (16-4, 6-0 MPSF)

  • The Bruins arrive in Provo on a six-game win streak, including sweeps over Ohio State and Penn State last week. They sit atop the MPSF with perfect 6-0 record.

  • The Cougars have a narrow lead in the all-time series, 35-34, but have already dropped a match to the Bruins this season in a four-set loss in Los Angeles.

  • Junior middle blocker Daenan Gyimah leads the MPSF in hitting percentage at .527, while senior setter Micah Ma’a leads the conference in service aces with .57 per set and ranks second in assists with 10.31 per set.

  • The UCLA offense ranks second in the MPSF in kills with 13 per set on a conference-leading .338 hitting percentage. The Bruins average just 1.9 blocks per set, however, compared to a 2.5 average for the staunch Cougar defense.

No. 6 Pepperdine (14-5, 4-2 MPSF)

  • The Waves participated in the Outrigger Invitational in Hawai’i last week, where they swept Ball State and King before falling to No. 2 Hawai’i. The currently sit in second in the MPSF with a 4-2 conference record.

  • Pepperdine leads the all-time series, 33-31, including a sweep over the Cougars last month in Malibu to open conference play. BYU won the previous four matchups.

  • Last time Pepperdine played BYU, the Waves had 13 service aces, and currently have two players in the top five in the conference in aces per set. David Wieczorek sits in second with a .48 average while Michael Wexter ranks fourth with a .35 average.

  • The Waves lead the MPSF in assists, kills and digs, but the Cougars have a 2.5-1.8 advantage in blocks per set and hold opponents to a .264 hitting percentage, compared to .294 for the Waves.

Both matches will be broadcast live on BYUtv and live stats can be found on the schedule page.