Three more career nights lift Cougars to 3-1 win over Mount Olive
PROVO, Utah — No. 8 BYU men’s volleyball downed Mount Olive in four sets behind career nights from Gavin Julien, Jon Stanley and Bartosz Sławiński.
The Cougars hit .244 for the match with 52 kills, 44 assists, 42 digs, and 12 blocks in the 3-1 win over the Trojans.
Julien finished with a career-high 12 kills on a .450 hitting percentage, eight blocks and two digs. Stanley also notched a career high with six kills, while also registering five digs, three blocks and an assist. Sławiński nearly doubled his career high in assists with 42 on the night.
BYU freshman Miks Ramanis led the Cougars with 22 kills in the match. It was his second consecutive match with 20+ kills, after no Cougar has reached more than 20 this season or last season.
"I just think about doing my job and doing my part on the court," Ramanis said. "Today I feel like I did a decent job, especially on offense. I still have so much to learn, but I was able to read the plays better tonight. We just keep going hard in practice. We didn't serve great tonight, so we have things to work on for Ball State next week."
BYU rolled out its fifth different starting lineup in six matches. Saturday that included Alex Ah Sue, Mitchell Worthington, Sławiński and first-time starters Jon Stanley and Teon Taylor.
The Cougars got off to a hot start, grabbing five of the first seven points to take an early lead. The Trojans countered with two straight kills and a block to even the score at seven. After a UMO service error, the Trojans scored three straight to take a 10-8 lead and force a BYU timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Cougars regained the lead, scoring three straight points with two kills from Ramanis and a UMO error to put them up 11-10. The teams traded points until BYU scored another three-straight points off a Trojan error, a block and a Julien kill to take a 15-12 lead.
The Cougars maintained the three-point advantage until it was 21-18. The Trojans tied the set at 23 with a BYU attack error and a roof block, forcing BYU to take its second timeout of the set.
The Cougars took three of the next four points, including a marathon rally on set point to take the first set 26-24.
The Cougars and Trojans traded points to start set No. 2, knotting the score at 4-4, before BYU won four of five points to take an 8-5 lead. UMO scored three points in a row to square the set at eight before BYU rattled off four straight to take a 12-8 lead, the Trojans taking their first timeout of the set.
After BYU extended the lead to 14-10, a UMO kill and two Cougar errors led to a BYU timeout with a 14-13 score. The Trojans kept rolling out of the BYU timeout, scoring six of the next 10 points to take a 19-18 lead late in the second set. BYU won two straight to retake the lead 20-19, but UMO won the next two points to go up 21-20, and the Cougars took their second timeout of the set.
BYU scored three of four coming out of the timeout to take a 23-22 lead. Service errors were committed on six of the last eight points, before a kill from Julien gave the Cougars their third set point, which they converted on a UMO error to take set two 27-25.
The Cougars and Trojans were deadlocked at three when a lengthy review of a point commenced, and after some confusion from the officials, BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead was issued a red card. Following the sanction issued to BYU, UMO won seven of the next eight points to take a 9-4 lead. The Trojans had four errors in the next seven points. With a kill from Ah Sue, BYU drew within two, 11-9.
After losing three of the next four points, the Cougars turned to the Ramanis who registered two kills and a block to again cut the Trojan lead to two, 16-14. Out of the UMO timeout, the Trojans registered two straight kills to take an 18-14 lead. The Cougars traded the next eight points, bringing them to a score of 22-18.
After a UMO attack error that drew BYU within three, the Trojans won two-straight points to earn their first set point of the night. After another marathon set point, the Trojans got a stuff block to win the third set 25-19.
After dropping the first two points of the fourth set, the Cougars rattled off four of five with kills from Taylor, Ah Sue and two attack errors by UMO to take a 4-3 lead early. After trading points that kept the BYU lead at one, two Ramanis kills, a UMO error and a BYU block gave the Cougars a four-point lead at 12-8, causing the Trojans to take their first time out of the set.
Out of the timeout, BYU scored three straight to stretch the lead to seven, the Cougars' largest lead of the match and forced the Trojans to take their second timeout of the set. The Cougars maintained the seven-point advantage before winning three of the next four points, thanks to another Ramanis kill and two UMO errors to take a 21-13 lead.
The Trojans did not go quietly, winning seven of the next 10 points, including the match’s first service ace, to draw within four, 23-19, and cause BYU to use its first timeout of the set.
Coming out of the timeout, Stanley recorded his sixth kill of the match to give the Cougars their first match point. After dropping the first match point, Julien capped off his career night with his 12th kill to give the Cougars the four set victory.
The Cougars will put their four-game winning streak on the line next weekend when BYU will host the Ball State Cardinals next weekend at the Smith Fieldhouse.