Caleb Turner | Posted: 20 Mar 2019 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

No. 7/8 BYU to play final home matches in BYU Invite

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PROVO, Utah — No. 7/8 BYU men’s volleyball hosts the BYU Invite this weekend, with matches against Princeton on Thursday, McKendree on Friday and undefeated No. 2 Hawai’i on Saturday. The team will honor its lone senior, Taylor Richards, in the final home match of the regular season against Hawai'i.

Week 11 Match Notes

No. 8 BYU (11-6, 6-3 MPSF)

  • The Cougars rose in the rankings for the second consecutive week after home wins against No. 4 UCLA and No. 6 Pepperdine, coming in at No. 7 in the Off the Block poll and No. 8 in the AVCA poll.

  • BYU swept the MPSF weekly awards with freshman Davide Gardini winning Offensive Player of the Week and sophomore Felipe de Brito Ferreira winning Defensive Player of the Week. De Brito Ferreira had a career night against Pepperdine, including a career-high 13 total blocks, the most for a Cougar since 2014.

  • As a team, the Cougars had a season-high 18.5 blocks against Pepperdine and lead the conference by a considerable margin with 2.57 blocks per set. Junior Miki Jauhiainen leads the MPSF in blocks individually with 1.16 per set.

  • Gabi Garcia Fernandez continues to lead the Cougars on offense with an MPSF-best 4.30 kills per set. He had a near-triple-double against Pepperdine on Saturday with 20 kills, eight digs and nine blocks.

  • Setter Brody Earnest was named Off the Block National Freshman of Week for his heroics off the bench in a five-set comeback win over UCLA and a 40-assist performance in his first start as a Cougar against Pepperdine. 

Princeton (10-9, 8-1 EIVA)

  • The Tigers are coming off of a bye week after starting conference play in the EIVA with an 8-1 record, including a four-set victory over No. 12 George Mason on Feb. 16. Prior to that, Princeton was 0-6 against ranked teams.

  • The two teams have met just twice, with BYU winning meetings in 2016 and 2017.

  • The Tigers are led on offense by two hitters in Parker Dixon (3.45 kills/set) and George Huhmann (3.20 kills/set). On defense, Greg Luck averages 1.15 digs per set and .73 blocks per set.

  • The Cougars best the Tigers in nearly every statistical category except for serving, where the Tigers hold a 1.8-1.3 advantage in aces per set.

McKendree (9-8, 6-4 MIVA)

  • The Bearcats are coming off of their third consecutive victory and second-straight sweep in a win over Lindenwood University on Sunday. They are 1-5 against ranked teams with the lone win coming against No. 11 Ball State on Feb. 7.

  • BYU and McKendree have also played each other just twice, with the Cougars winning two matches in January 2017 against the Bearcats.

  • Zach Schnittker and Patrick Ross lead the Bearcats on offense with 2.39 and 2.44 kills per set, while Francisco Comas brings in 2.38 digs per set on defense.

  • McKendree holds opponents to a stifling .242 hitting percentage compared to BYU’s .260, but BYU bests the Bearcats on offense with a .309 hitting percentage compared to just .243 for McKendree.

No. 2 Hawai’i (17-0, 4-0 Big West)

  • The Warriors have yet to lose a set this season with a 51-set win streak, including back-to-back sweeps over No. 12 CSUN last week.

  • BYU leads the all-time series against Hawai’i 41-19, with the Cougars’ last loss at home coming in 2003.

  • The Warriors are led by 6-foot-9 opposite hitter Rado Parapunov on offense, averaging 4.30 kills per set at a .533 clip. He earned his second AVCA National Player of the Week award this week. Joe Worsley adds 1.65 digs per set on the defensive end, while also leading the assist category with 11.76 per set.

  • Hawai’i averages 9.1 digs per set compared to BYU’s 7.8, but the Cougars out-block the Warriors 2.6-2.4 on a per-set average.

All three matches will begin at 7 p.m. MDT, with Thursday’s and Saturday’s being shown on BYUtv and Friday’s on TheW.tv. Live stats can be found on the schedule page.

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