BYU men's volleyball: #1 Cougars back in action this weekend

By Whitney Jordan

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 1 2012 3:26 p.m. MST

Quick Look: No. 1 BYU: 6-1, 4-0 MPSF; No. 7 Stanford: 5-2, 2-1 MPSF

The No. 1 BYU men's volleyball team kicks off its February action with a pair of matches against No. 7 Stanford in the Smith Fieldhouse and Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

BYU leads the overall series, 25-13, and has a 13-4 all-time advantage when playing at home.

BYU received a No. 1 ranking from both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine this week for the third consecutive time.

The Cougars return to action after almost two weeks off. In their last outing, they defeated then No. 5 USC at home in consecutive nights. Taylor Sander currently leads the team with 142 kills and is accompanied on the stat sheet by Robb Stowell, Josue Rivera, Russ Lavaja, Quentin Smith and Andrew Heap who are also recording double-figure kills.

Russ Lavaja’s 42 blocks lead the team and, again, five other players join him in recording double-digit blocks for the season. BYU is outblocking its opponents this season 80.5 to 39.5 so far.

The Cardinal is coming off a win and loss at the Ken & Dave Dunlap Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, where the team fell to Penn State and, most recently, defeated Ohio State on the road. Stanford is 5-2 on the season and 2-1 in conference action.

They are led by Brad Lawson’s 81 kills and six other players with double-figure kills so far this season. Evan Barry has tallied 279 assists, and Eric Mochalski leads the team with 15 total blocks.

BYUtv will be broadcasting Friday’s match live and online at http://byutv.org/watch/livetv with play-by-play from Jarom Jordan and color commentary from Steve Vail. Saturday’s match will be available through live stats only. Live stats are available for both matches through the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page. Gametracker is launched by clicking on the Live Stats link for the appropriate game on the schedule.

Fans call also follow the team on Twitter for live updates.

Whitney Jordan works in the BYU Athletic Communications with the women's soccer and men's volleyball teams. She can be reached at soccer_sid@byu.edu for questions relating to soccer and mvolleyball_sid@byu.edu for volleyball questions.

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