Volleyball dominates USC in weekend sweep


    By Brent Hinckley

    The men”s volleyball team corralled the USC Trojans as the Cougars swept USC 3-0 both Friday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 26.

    The Cougars dominated the Trojans on Saturday night, Jan. 26. After a mediocre win Friday night, Jan. 25, BYU came out determined for the next day.

    “We played like national champions,” said Mike Wall, senior opposite hitter.

    Behind the setting of freshman setter Carlos Moreno, the Cougars were scorching on offense.

    BYU averaged a .508 attack percentage, and were led by Wall with 13 kills and senior outside hitter Joaquin Acosta with 11 kills. The Cougars had three service aces and 11.5 blocks.

    “That”s really a well-played early season match for us,” coach Carl McGown said. “We came, played hard and we played well.”

    The Cougars and Trojans battled early in game one, but the Cougars grabbed a 9-8 lead and never looked back. BYU went on to win game one 30-20.

    BYU jumped out to an early lead in game two, and never trailed as they won 30-25. Middle blockers Chris Gorny and Rafael Paal made several blocks and kills to keep USC out of the game. USC had a dismal attack percentage of .033 in the second game.

    USC tried to get back in the match as they fought the Cougars to a 12-12 tie in game three. Following a USC service error, BYU took the lead and went on to a 30-23 win and swept the Trojans for the second night in a row.

    Wall said the team played the best game of the season, and they were able to do what they wanted to do.

    Friday night”s match-up produced a more competitive fight between the Cougars and Trojans.

    Senior outside hitter Brook Billings led the Trojans with 18 kills and junior middle blocker Josh Day had 12 kills. For the night, USC averaged a .375 attack percentage.

    Both teams played well offensively, but struggled with the service game. BYU had 18 service errors and USC had 20.

    “We played good on offense and they played good on offense,” McGown said. “And it was a toss-up to see who could serve the worst.”

    The Cougars were led by Wall and Acosta with 13 and 14 kills, respectively. The team averaged a .444 attack percentage.

    “We played all right, but a terrible night serving,” Acosta said.

    In game one, BYU and USC came out fighting for every ball and played to a 25-25 tie.

    The Cougars took the lead on a kill by Moreno and went on a 4-1 run to win 30-26.

    Game two was just as fierce as game one had been. Both teams went on scoring spurts and battled to a 20-20 tie. Led by Wall, the Cougars took a 25-20 lead and went on to a 30-27 win.

    USC took an early lead in game three, but could not hold it for long because of a service error and a kill by Acosta.

    The Cougars took the lead, but USC came back and tied the game at 23, and again at 26. Junior outside hitter Jaime Mayol stepped up for the team and recorded three kills to help BYU to a 30-27 victory.

    The Cougars have now won five straight matches since their season opening loss to Stanford. Ohio State comes to the Smith Fieldhouse next weekend, and then the Cougars are on the road throughout the month of February.

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