No. 4 BYU men's volleyball fell to unranked Stanford in a four-set (21-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-18) decision Friday night at Maples Pavilion.
"I saw that we got outplayed tonight," BYU head coach Chris McGown said. "This was probably the least prepared we've been for a team all season. They hadn't put anything on film with the lineup that they played. We got crushed in the serve-pass portion of the game as well. I think this team has bounced back well in the second night so far this season. Hopefully we'll be a bit more mentally prepared tomorrow."
Brenden Sander led the Cougars with 12 kills to go along with five digs and three blocks. Robbie Sutton paced his team with 22 assists while Michael Hatch contributed a team-high seven blocks. Jaylen Reyes added eight digs, and Carson Heninger picked up a season-high eight kills.
BYU (13-4, 10-3 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) got its first point of the match from a Sander kill. Stanford (7-11, 4-8 MPSF) had trouble controlling the Cougars' offense from there as Jake Langlois paced his team with a trio of kills en route to a 9-4 lead. The Cardinal then countered with a 4-2 rally to come back within four points at 12-8. The score remained within four as a Matt Underwood kill kept BYU in front, 17-13. The Cougars maintained their advantage following a Stanford timeout, and Underwood's second kill of the night ended the set at 25-21 for BYU.
A Joseph Grosh kill gave the Cougars an early 2-1 advantage in the second set, but a 5-1 rally from the Cardinal followed as it took a 6-3 lead, forcing a BYU timeout. Sander scored four-straight points for the Cougars, cutting the lead to three at 11-8. BYU took its final timeout down six at 17-11 after a trio of consecutive points from Stanford. After the break, the Cougars went on a 3-1 rally, capped off by a Langlois kill, to bring them back within four at 18-14. BYU had difficulty stopping the Cardinal to end the set as Stanford evened the match score with a 25-19 win in set two.
The Cardinal opened the third set on a 4-0 run, forcing McGown to take his first timeout of the set. Stanford continued its control of the set, going up 10-2 on a block. The Cardinal led by as many as 11 before a Price Jarman and Sander block cut the lead to six at 15-9, forcing a Stanford timeout. The two sides traded points from there with the Cardinal maintaining a big advantage up 23-16. A Spencer Haly kill ended the set for Stanford, 25-16.
A Hatch and Heninger block helped propel the Cougars to an early 5-2 lead in the fourth set. After multiple service errors on both sides of the net, the Cardinal took a 10-8 advantage. The scoring went back and forth from that point until three-straight points gave Stanford the lead once again at 17-15. Another 3-0 Cardinal rally gave it a 20-17 lead, forcing a BYU timeout. Following the break in play, Stanford ended the set and match on a 5-1 run, taking it 25-18.
The Cougars return to Maples Pavilion on Saturday at 7 p.m. PST, to face off against the Cardinal in a rematch. Links to a video feed and live stats 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.