Brenden Sander led No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball in a sweep over CSUN, 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-19), on Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"Overall, I'm just really pleased with our performance," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "It was a great team effort. We were able to get a few new faces in and get some good touches. Our pin hitters were really strong and our serving has gotten better, so that's a big deal for us. I thought overall on the weekend we got better, and that's what we are focusing on is improvement."
Sander tied a season high in kills with 15, while also tying a career-high .667 hitting clip. Jake Langlois added 10 kills and eight digs for a near double-double on the night. Michael Hatch led the Cougars with eight blocks, with Price Jarman, Langlois and Tim Dobbert adding six apiece. Kiril Meretev served up two aces on the night, with Sander, Langlois and Dobbert each adding one of their own. Leo Durkin added 27 assists in the win.
BYU (14-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) started the first set on a 4-1 run after a kill and service ace from Sander. CSUN (10-7, 5-7 MPSF) responded with a few quick points before a Langlois kill forced a timeout and put the Cougars up 9-4. A Langlois ace and Sander kill opened up a 6-2 run after the timeout to extend the lead to 16-6. The Matadors fought back to an 18-10 deficit before the Cougars continued their hot streak with kills from Sander, Langlois, Dobbert and Durkin, winning the set 25-16. BYU ended the set with a .419 hitting clip.
In the second set, BYU came out fast again, going up 6-2 after a Hatch kill. The Cougars extended the lead to 9-4 after a Jarman kill and multiple CSUN attack errors forced a Matador timeout. A 7-3 BYU run, featuring kills from Langlois, Jarman and Matt Underwood, pushed the score to 16-7. BYU extended the lead to 20-11 after two kills from Sander and after a few quick Matador points, and a Hatch kill sealed the set 25-16 for the Cougars.
A competitive third set began in a 4-4 lock after two Langlois kills. Sander notched five kills to lead a 5-2 Cougar run that put BYU up 9-6. The Matadors responded and narrowed the BYU lead to 11-10. After a few quick BYU kills, a 4-0 CSUN run forced a Cougar timeout with things tied at 15-all. A huge block from Sander and Hatch, followed by another from Hatch and Dobbert, put the Cougars up 19-17 and forced another CSUN timeout. Two-straight service aces from Meretev extended the BYU lead to 22-18, with a Langlois kill forcing match point moments later. A block from Langlois, Jarman and Dobbert sealed the set 25-19 and gave the Cougars the 3-0 sweep.
BYU travels next week to take on Hawai’i on Wednesday at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i, at 7 p.m. HST. Fans can stream the match on OCSports.tv and follow the live stats feed on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.