The No. 1 BYU men’s volleyball team travels to California to face the No. 5 Pepperdine Waves and the No. 10 USC Trojans this weekend.
This is the Cougars’ first road trip of the season after hosting their first 10 games of the season. Libero Jaylen Reyes knows how difficult playing on the road is in their conference.
“Playing at home in our league is really tough and going on the road is twice as tough,” Reyes said.
Pepperdine hosts BYU Friday night. Pepperdine (6–4) is “the biggest team in the league” according to Reyes. The Waves are led by Maurice Torres, a 6’7″ opposite hitter averaging over four kills per set. They are an undefeated on their home court this season, dropping only three sets in total.
“Maurice and the boys are back,” Reyes said.
BYU then travels to USC to face the Trojans. USC is still ranked in the top 10 in the nation despite their 3–5 record, thanks to their victories top ranked UC Irvine and Stanford. The Trojans are led by setter Micah Christenson. Christenson was BYU’s Ben Patch’s NORCECA teammate and second team All-American last year, and BYU coach Chris McGown has his team aware of him.
“They have a really nice setter that sets the ball with pace all over the court,” McGown said. “When they pass well it’s a challenge to defend them.”
Despite the many challenges of playing on the road, fan support isn’t one the Cougars often face.
“We get a lot (of fans),” Reyes said. “I remember last year when we played at Irvine, half of it was BYU blue and half of it was UC Irvine blue. There was 4,000 people that night so we get a pretty good following on the road.”