No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball clinched the MPSF regular-season title outright with its sweep (25-20, 25-17, 25-14) of Pepperdine on Thursday night at Firestone Fieldhouse.
“This was an impressive team performance tonight,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We served tough and kept Pepperdine out of system. I'm proud of our focus from start to finish.”
Brenden Sander led the Cougars with 11 kills on a .429 clip. Leo Durkin set the team with 27 assists, while Cyrus Fa’alogo provided four digs and six kills on a .545 clip. Felipe de Brito Ferreira collected six blocks and five kills, while Wil Stanley contributed a career-high four aces in the win.
Pepperdine (14-7, 7-4 MPSF) got off to a 3-1 lead in the first set against BYU (20-5, 10-1 MPSF) after consecutive aces. A 5-2 Cougar run then evened things at 8-8. The Waves followed by scoring three-straight points, capped off by a block, to go ahead 13-10, forcing a timeout by BYU. With Sander at the service line, the Cougars rattled off eight-consecutive points to take an 18-13 lead as Pepperdine used both timeouts along the way. The Waves then got back within a pair at 20-18, but a pair of Sander kills sealed the set victory for BYU, 25-20.
A block and kill from Ferreira helped the Cougars take a 7-5 advantage to start the second set. A Gabi Garcia Fernandez ace made it 11-7, and a Sander kill extended the lead to six, 15-9. BYU stayed in front at 21-13 after a Price Jarman kill before taking the set, 25-17, on a Fa’alogo ace.
The third set began with the two teams staying within a point of each other until kills by Fa’alogo and Sander and an ace gave the Cougars the edge, 9-6. BYU won a lengthy rally to stay up 15-10, and back-to-back Fernandez aces made it 18-11, forcing a timeout from Pepperdine. BYU cruised through the end of the set, winning the match on three-straight aces from Wil Stanley, 25-14.
The Cougars stay on the road for their final regular-season match at UCLA on Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m. PDT. The match will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network. Links to a video 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.