BYU dominates USC in weekend sweep
PROVO -- The fifth-ranked BYU men's volleyball team completed a weekend sweep of MPSF opponent USC with a sizzling 3-0 (30-20, 30-24, 30-23) win Saturday night in the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars have won five matches in a row to improve their record to 5-1, while the loss drops the Trojans to 4-5.
The Cougars' attack dominated play throughout the match, as BYU had 48 kills on 70 attempts (.494), while holding USC to 33 kills with a .102 attack percentage. USC was forced into committing 24 errors to BYU's nine.
"I thought we were wonderful tonight," BYU coach Carl McGown said. "We came and played hard and we played well. The guys knew what the plan was, and they were into it."
The tone of the match was set early in game one. With the score knotted at eight, senior outside hitter Joaquin Acosta had two consecutive kills to put the Cougars up for good. Spurred by two more kills by Acosta, a service ace by freshman setter Carlos Moreno and a kill by All-American Mike Wall, the Cougars held a decisive 21-14 lead. The Cougars had another 4-0 run before a game winning kill by Wall. BYU picked USC apart by hitting .565 with 14 kills on 23 attempts, while the Trojans had 10 kills on 29 swings.(.069)
BYU led game two from start to finish. USC narrowed the score to 27-24 on a kill by Trojan outside hitter Ian Gallagher. The Cougars then followed with a kill by Acosta and a solo block by Wall, to put BYU up 29-24. A furious rally ensued, which had both teams scrambling, but Acosta capped the game with another kill. The Trojans were held to a match-low .033 attack percentage.
The Cougars continued their convincing play by hitting a match best .583 (16 for 24) in the third game. USC fought to tie the game at 12-12, but BYU, aided by two USC errors and a kill by Acosta, went on a 3-0 run to take control of the game. The Cougars ended the match on another 3-0 run, sealed by a match clinching kill by outside hitter Jaime Mayol.
The BYU attack was led by its seniors Wall, with a match-high 13 kills on 21 swings (.524), and Acosta, 11 kills on 15 swings (.667) with one hitting error. Moreno had a match-high 40 assists, with two kills, two blocks and a service ace.
"I thought Carlos was terrific," McGown said. "There were a couple of balls he set that very few setters would attempt."
BYU will complete its eight match homestand on Friday and Saturady, Feb. 1-2, as it hosts No. 13 Ohio State, in the Smith Fieldhouse. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m.(MST).