Junior outside hitter Jake Langlois led No. 3 BYU men's volleyball to a four-set (26-24, 25-17, 16-25, 25-20) win over previously undefeated No. 2 Long Beach State on Friday night at Walter Pyramid.
"It was a nice road win for this group," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "I'm happy for the team. We executed the game plan as a team, and now we look forward to the rematch tomorrow night."
Langlois led the Cougars with 16 kills, nine digs and six blocks while hitting on a .286 clip. Leo Durkin contributed 34 assists and a career-high 10 digs for his first career double-double, and Erik Sikes added a career-high 13 digs. Price Jarman collected eight blocks to lead the team. Brenden Sander and Ben Patch each collected double-digit kills with 14 and 10, respectively.
BYU (4-1, 2-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) took an early 4-2 first set advantage over Long Beach State (5-1, 2-1 MPSF) following a block from Patch and Michael Hatch. The teams remained close as a Langlois overpass kill kept the Cougars ahead, 10-9. Following the kill, BYU went on a 5-2 run to extend its lead to four, 15-11, forcing a 49er timeout. Long Beach State stayed in the set, however, going on a 7-2 rally of its own to tie things back up at 18-all. Back-to-back kills from the 49ers' TJ Defalco brought up set point for Long Beach State at 24-23, but the Cougars scored the next three to take the close set, 26-24.
The 49ers jumped out to a 5-2 lead to start the second set. BYU then went on a 6-1 run, capped off by a Langlois, Patch and Jarman block, to help take its first lead of the set at 9-7. Another Cougar block, this time by Hatch and Sander, gave BYU a five-point advantage at 16-11. A kill from Patch extended the Cougars' lead to seven before a Long Beach State attack error gave BYU the set, 25-17.
The 49ers once again got out to a hot start to begin the third set, taking a 7-3 advantage on a Josh Tuaniga ace. The Cougars came back within a pair at 8-6 after a Langlois kill, but Long Beach State scored the next three to extend its lead to five at 11-6, forcing Olmstead to take a timeout. BYU continued to struggle defensively as the 49ers went up by double digits at 20-10 before easily taking the set, 25-16, on a block.
The fourth set began with a Patch kill helping the Cougars to a 6-3 lead early on. The 49ers came back within a point at 8-7, but BYU scored the next three to extend its lead to four, 11-7. Poor serving from Long Beach State and hard hitting from Sander helped bring the Cougars' lead to five at 18-13. BYU then took a timeout after a 4-1 run from the 49ers brought them back within striking distance, down 19-17. Patch's 10th kill of the night gave the Cougars set point before a Sander overpass kill ended the match, 25-20.
The Cougars return to Walter Pyramid on Saturday at 7 p.m. PST, for a rematch with Long Beach State. The match will have live video, audio and stats. Links can be found on the BYU men's volleyball schedule page.
Royce Hinton is the men's and women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.