Cougars sweep Waves in Firestone Fieldhouse
Malibu, Calif. — No. 2 BYU Cougars sweep No. 4 Pepperdine Waves in Firestone Fieldhouse to complete an undefeated weekend (25-21, 25-14, 25-20). BYU, now 12-2, leads the MPSF conference.
As a team, the Cougars put up a .460 hitting percentage with 39 kills on 63 attempts and 10 errors. Sixteen Pepperdine hitting errors,11.5 total BYU blocks and 21 BYU digs held the Waves to a .208 hitting percentage.
“The guys continued to be aggressive from the service line,” Said head coach Shawn Olmstead. “Our block made some good adjustments that helped our defense”.
- Gabi Garcia Fernandez: 12 kills, .364 hitting percentage, four blocks
- Zach Eschenberg: 11 kills, .600 hitting percentage, three blocks
- Davide Gardini: 10 kills, .533 hitting percentage, one ace, four blocks
- Felipe de Brito Ferreira: One ace, four blocks
The Cougars started the match confident, immediately going on a 5-2 run. The first service ace of the game by Felipe de Brito Ferreira triggered a Pepperdine timeout (BYU 9-4 PEPP). Davide Gardini secured the second and final BYU ace of the day, to give the Cougars the edge at the end of set one (BYU 23-19 PEPP). BYU clinched the set on an Eschenberg kill to win 25-21.
Set two began more balanced than set one with the Waves and Cougars trading points back and forth. BYU took off with the lead after the 6-6 split, staying on top for the remainder of the set. Several errors by Pepperdine and key kills by BYU gave the Cougars the push to close out the set 25-14. BYU hit .684 in set two, for a match high percentage.
The Cougars took advantage of Pepperdine's errors early on to set and keep their lead. At one point BYU went on a 5-0 stretch tying the longest run of the match (BYU 16-9 PEPP). Pepperdine countered coming close to BYU’s lead forcing a Cougar timeout at 21-17. The timeout proved advantageous to BYU who finalized the set 25-20 on a Gardini kill.
Next weekend the Cougars will remain on the road, traveling to Concordia Irvine for a pair of matches March 26 and 27.