No. 2 Cougars sweep USC Trojans with season high performances
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball (8-2) takes down the Trojans (1-5) of USC (25-22,25-22,25-20) for a sweep in the Galen Center. The 8-2 Cougars now lead the MPSF conference.
“The team was fairly steady from start to finish,” said BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. “Our pins carried a nice load but we are working to get a little more offense out of our middle positions.”
Zach Eschenberg and Miki Jauhiainen both registered season high blocks, participating in 5 and 7 respectively, of the team’s 10.5 total. Libero Mitch Worthington picked up six clutch digs.
“I thought Mitch did a nice job keeping us in system and made some key digs when we needed them” Olmstead said.
As a team, the Cougars recorded 42 kills, 2 aces, 10.5 blocks, and 35 digs. BYU held USC to a .216 hitting percentage.
- Davide Gardini: 14 kills, .290 hitting percentage, one ace, seven digs
- Wil Stanley: 36 assists, 11 digs
- Gabi Garcia Fernandez: 14 kills, .370 hitting percentage, seven digs, four blocks
- Zach Eschenberg: six kills, one ace, five blocks
- Miki Jauhiainen: two kills, seven blocks
David Gardini opened with two kills for BYU’s first points of the match. USC quickly followed with a trio of kills, gaining an advantage. The Trojans would hold that lead until an Eschenberg ace tied the set at 11’s. USC came back on top until two attack errors and a BYU block put the Cougars on top into the media timeout (BYU 15-14 USC). After the timeout, a four point BYU run gave the Cougars a two point lead triggering a USC timeout (BYU 19-17). The set was won by BYU 25-22 USC after a kill by Gardini and a Trojan attack error.
USC started off set two powerfully with a quick kill and an ace (BYU 0-2 USC). Similar to set one, the Trojans kept a two point lead to begin. BYU caught up at the 10-10 mark on a kill by Gardini. The set remained even until the BYU 15-14 USC media timeout. After the timeout, BYU did not let up, causing USC to call a timeout (BYU 17-14 USC). Several attack errors later and BYU calls its first timeout (BYU 20-19 USC). A kill by Garcia Fernandez ended the set 25-22 for the BYU win.
Immediately after the serve, Garcia Fernandez put down a kill. A block at the net by Julien and Eschenberg gave BYU the advantage ( BYU 4-2 USC). The Trojans caught up at the 5-5 mark but were quickly met by a 4-0 BYU run (BYU 9-5 USC). A USC timeout followed. BYU would maintain the lead from this point on. Julien and Gardini recorded two kills each late in the set. A BYU team three blocks and 13 kills later and the Cougars secured the set 25-22 to complete the 3-0 sweep.
Up next, the Cougars will welcome Stanford to the Smith Fieldhouse Mar. 12 and 13, both at 7:00 p.m. MST. The matches will be broadcast on BYUtv and the BYUtv App.