PROVO — The BYU men's volleyball team will look to continue its rise in the national rankings this weekend with home matches against No. 6 Stanford (Friday) and Pacific (Saturday.)
The Cougars are now No. 7 in the national rankings after winning four straight against top teams such as then No. 1-ranked Long Beach and defending national champion UC Irvine.
Taylor Sander again leads the way and is coming off a big match against San Diego, where he broke BYU's all-time record for aces in a match with nine. BYU won its match against San Diego in straight sets (25-12, 25-19, 25-17) last Saturday off of a five-set win against Irvine (19-25, 34-32, 21-25, 25-18, 15-12) Friday to complete a successful road trip.
The Cougars are now 4-2 on the season and 4-0 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play. BYU is now tied with Pepperdine on top of the MPSF standings.
Stanford is 3-2 on the season but 0-2 in MPSF conference play after two tough road losses to UCLA (25-23, 22-25, 23-25, 31-29, 11-15) and UC Santa Barbara (13-25, 25-21, 25-12, 23-25, 12-15.)
Pacific is 1-4 overall and 0-2 in MPSF play.
BYU last played the Cardinal April 13, 2013, and the Tigers April 12, 2013, on the road. The Cougars swept both those matches.
The Cardinal is led by Steven Irvin, who averages 3.86 kills per set on .329 hitting. Grant Delgado averages 2.76 digs per set for Stanford.
Thomas Hodges leads the Tigers with 2.65 kills per set, also contributing 1.47 digs and 1.47 blocks per set. Javier Caceres averages 3.17 digs, and Tommy Carmody leads the team with 1.61 blocks per set.
Both matches will take place at 7 p.m. at the Smith Fieldhouse and will be broadcast on BYUtv.