Freshman Tim Dobbert led No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball to victory with a career-high 15 kills in a 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 26-28, 25-18) win against Cal State Northridge on Saturday on the road.
"It was a little bit of an interesting match tonight," BYU head coach Chris McGown said. "I thought we actually played with pretty good energy. Second night in a road trip, it's hard to go back-to-back, especially after a frustrating loss last night. For sure it's really nice to get the win against a good team here."
The 6-foot-10 opposite from Aichelberg, Germany, also had a .429 hit clip, a pair of aces and three blocks. Senior Taylor Sander added 13 kills, four digs and four blocks. Leading at the net, Devin Young had six blocks for the Cougars (13-4, 13-2 MPSF). Tyler Heap contributed 38 assists.
BYU took the lead to start the first set, extending that lead to 11-7 on a Sander ace. Cal State Northridge (6-11, 6-10 MPSF) fought back and tied the score at 14, then tied it three more times until a service error and kill by Kiril Meretev pushed the Cougars ahead 19-17. Dobbert’s seventh kill of the night gave BYU a 24-20 lead in the set, and despite a Matador rally attempt the Cougars finished the set with a 25-22 win.
Dobbert continued his dominant play with back-to-back aces in the second set, giving BYU a 5-2 advantage. The Cougars stayed in control until Matador Sam Holt strung together three straight kills to give CS Northridge a 9-8 lead.
Two Matador errors gave the lead back to BYU at 19-18 before CS Northridge answered with a kill and an ace to regain the lead. Heap set Sander for a kill to tie the score at 20. Devin Young’s service ace put BYU in the lead, 23-22, and Hatch wrapped up the set 25-23 on a kill.
BYU opened the third set with four kills, but CS Northridge’s Holt tied up the score 4-4 with a kill. A tug-of-war for the lead ended with a 3-0 Cougar run, capped by another kill by Dobbert that gave BYU a 13-10 lead. Rivera made the BYU advantage seven points at 21-14, BYU’s largest lead of the match, on a kill that finished a 5-0 Cougar run. The Matadors answered with their own 5-0 run, cutting dangerously close at 22-21. The teams fought through four ties until CS Northridge pulled off the win, 28-26.
Service errors plagued the Matadors, helping the Cougars get off to an 8-4 start in the fourth set. Up 16-12, BYU let CS Northridge come back to tie the set at 18-18 on an ace. The Cougars then launched an attack to secure the win, putting up seven straight points that included two kills and a block from Sander to finish the set 25-18.
BYU returns to the Smith Fieldhouse for a five-match home stand, starting with UC Irvine on Friday at 7 p.m. MDT on BYUtv.
Rachel Hawks is the men's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.
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