Matt Underwood led No. 6 BYU men's volleyball in a three-set (28-26, 25-21, 25-15) win against No. 13 Cal State Northridge on Friday night at the Matadome.
"I thought that we were really, really good from the service line tonight," BYU head coach Chris McGown said. "It was good to see us break the theme of being ahead in a set and then giving up a lead and losing the set. We battled for a win there in that first set. It's been awhile since we've played, so I'm glad that we were able to get back into a rhythm. Hopefully this momentum carries over into tomorrow night."
Underwood led the Cougars with 13 kills on a .333 clip to go along with a team-high five total blocks. Price Jarman helped the defensive effort with four blocks, and Jaylen Reyes chipped in nine digs to lead the team. Robbie Sutton contributed a team-high 31 assists in the win. Phil Fuchs added nine kills and nine digs, while Jake Langlois added nine kills, seven digs and four blocks.
BYU (14-9, 11-8 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) jumped out to a 4-1 lead at the start of the first set after a Sutton service ace. CSUN (10-16, 7-13 MPSF) scored four of the next six points, however, to keep things close as it trailed 6-5. The Matadors took their first lead of the set at 13-11 following a block and kill, forcing McGown to take a timeout. The Cougars quickly countered with a 5-1 rally to retake the advantage, 16-14. Consecutive kills from Underwood put BYU up by three, 19-16, and caused CSUN to take a timeout. The Matadors then rallied to get to three set points before the Cougars took their first at 27-26, eventually taking it 28-26 on a Langlois ace.
A Michael Hatch kill gave BYU its first point of the second set as the Cougars trailed 2-1 early on. A Fuchs kill capped off a 4-1 BYU run that ensued, giving it a two-point advantage at 5-3. A block and kill from CSUN's Greg Faulkner helped the Matadors retake the lead at 11-10, but an attack error gave the advantage back to the Cougars, 17-16. The back-and-forth battle continued from there until BYU ended the match on a 4-2 rally, taking the set 25-21.
A pair of kills from Fuchs and Langlois helped the Cougars vault to an early 8-3 lead in the third set, forcing a quick timeout from CSUN. The advantage was quickly extended to double digits at 14-4 as a Hatch service ace caused the Matadors to take their final timeout of the set. After the break, CSUN rallied with a 5-1 run to cut the lead to six, 15-9. A block from Underwood and Fuchs re-extended BYU's lead to eight at 19-11 before another Underwood kill finished off the set and match in favor of the Cougars, 25-15.
BYU returns to action at the Matadome against the Matadors on Saturday at 7 p.m. PDT, for a rematch. Links to live stats and a video feed 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.