No. 4 BYU men’s volleyball beat No. 8 Lewis in four sets (25-15, 18-25, 25-23, 26-24) behind balanced play Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center in the second match of the Outrigger Resorts Invitational.
“I thought the guys rebounded well after losing that second set,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We knew Lewis was a much better team than we saw in the first. I'm proud of the team effort tonight.”
Brenden Sander led the Cougars with 14 kills and three aces, while Gabi Garcia Fernandez added 10 kills and seven digs. Leo Durkin chipped in 35 assists, and Zach Hendrickson added eight digs. Felipe de Brito Ferreira had six blocks and seven kills in the win.
Back-to-back blocks from Ferreira and Fernandez helped BYU (16-4, 7-0 MPSF) take a 3-1 lead in the first set against Lewis (13-7, 5-2 MIVA). The Cougars then went on a 7-1 lead to go up 13-6, forcing a timeout from the Flyers along the way. Lewis then countered with a 4-1 rally to get within four, down 14-10. A Sander kill extended BYU’s advantage back to seven at 19-12. The Cougars ended the set on a 4-0 run, which included two aces from Sander, to take the set, 25-15.
A Durkin kill evened the second set score at 4-4, but the Flyers quickly went up 17-8 after an 11-2 rally. Consecutive aces from Wil Stanley brought BYU back within six, trailing 20-14, but Lewis cruised through to the end of the set, winning it 25-18.
The Flyers took a 3-1 lead at the start of the third set. A Sander kill and ace tied the set at 4-4, and back-to-back Sander kills pushed the Cougars ahead, 10-8. A Fernandez kill then extended the lead to five at 16-11. With BYU ahead 18-14, Lewis scored the next three-straight points to get back within a point at 18-17. The Cougars then increased their lead back to three at 22-19 before eventually taking the close set, 25-23, after a Flyer service error.
A pair of Durkin and Ferreira blocks gave BYU a 6-2 lead in the fourth set. Lewis followed with a 7-2 rally to take a 9-8 edge. The set remained close as a pair of errors from the Flyers pushed the Cougars back in front, 15-13. A Ferreira kill kept BYU ahead at 20-18, forcing a Lewis timeout. A Stanley kill made it 23-20, but the Flyers scored the next three points to make it 23-apiece. The Cougars then took another close set, 26-24, after a final Sander kill.
BYU returns to the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m. HST, concluding play in the Outrigger Resorts Invitational against host No. 2 Hawai’i. The match will be televised live by Spectrum Sports. Links to a video stream, audio stream 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.