BYU blocks Stanford in another 3-0 sweep
PROVO, Utah – No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball posted its fifth consecutive sweep with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-15) win over Stanford on Saturday night.
The Cougars rode to victory by doubling up Stanford’s eight blocks with a season-high 16 total blocks. The Cardinal gave up 23 attack errors to BYU’s 11.
"It's always nice to be in Smith Fieldhouse in front of as many fans as are allowed at this moment, so that's exciting for the guys." Said head coach Shawn Olmstead. "We asked the guys to serve with a little more composure and put some mindful repetitions into their service approach, and they did that well, we limited our errors. We had a good amount of aces, but it also opened things up defensively. We had a lot of good blocks, we were able to key in on some things. It was a little up and down through the first two sets, but we were excited to see some other guys get minutes and opportunities right at the start."
Gabi Garcia Fernandez: 11 kills, 1 service ace, 0.47 hitting percentage, 5 blocks
Davide Gardini: 7 kills, 1 dig, 2, blocks
Branden Oberender: 2 kills, career high 8 blocks
Teilon-Jonathan Tufuga: 5 kills, 1 service ace, 6 digs, career 8 blocks
Will Stanley: 25 assists, 3 blocks
Zach Hendrickson: 9 digs
Reflecting on his career night Teilon- Jonathan Tufuga said, "I'm just very grateful for the opportunity to have my teammates trust me. We've been trying to make that a good focal point of our game, trusting each other, so I'm very grateful and very honored to have my setter [Will Stanley] to put me in a position to be successful."
The Cougars punctuated the opening set with service aces from Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Miki Jauhiainen. After Stanford tied the score at 18 with a kill, BYU ran away with the set on a 7-1 run, including two kills from Garcia Fernandez.
Both teams traded points to open the second set with the Cardinal tying the score at seven and the Cougars unable to stretch their lead past four. After two straight Stanford kills, the BYU lead was shrunk to one at 23-22, Garcia Fernandez responded with yet another of his 11 kills on the night. Stanley and Jauhiainen combined for the block to cap off a 25-22 win for the Cougars.
BYU kept the set out of Stanford’s reach with a 6-0 run to open. Five of the Cougars’ first six points came off blocks from Fernandez, Oberender and Tufuga. As the final set wore on, a trio of BYU sophomores came off the bench and immediately made an impact. Opposite hitter Alex Ah Sue recorded two kills, pushing the Cougars’ lead to nine at 19-10. Jon Stanley scored an ace on his first serve of the night and Gavin Julien finished the set with two consecutive kills.
The Cougars (10-2, 10-2 MPSF) will return to the court with a two-match road trip at Pepperdine in Malibu, California, March 19-20.
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