BYU sweeps UC San Diego as Sander breaks school record

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Following their defeat of UC Irvine, the Cougars had another win against UC San Diego Jan. 18 (25-12, 25-19, 25-17) holding on to their unbeaten record against the Tritons.

Taylor Sander trumped BYU men’s volleyball’s rally-scoring a record nine aces in a match in just three sets. Sander also holds the rally-scoring era career aces record at BYU, coming to 144 after the UCSD match.

BYU's Taylor Sander serves it up in a game against Long Beach. Photo by Whitnie Soelberg.
BYU’s Taylor Sander serves up a shot in a home game. Photo by Whitnie Soelberg.

“I probably would have taken him out, but I was interested to see if he was going to set that record,” BYU head coach Chris McGown said. “I’ll be honest, it just seemed appropriate for him to hold that record.”

Robbie Sutton had a career-high 20 assists and Matt Underwood led with eight digs. Sander also added 13 kills and five digs.

The Cougars started off with a 6-1 lead in the first set with kills by Sander and Michael Hatch. BYU increased its lead with aces from Sander and a final kill from Underwood at 25-12.

The second set continued like the first with a lead by the Cougars. BYU led 4-0 before receiving any action from UC San Diego. The Tritons had a successful run of kills and following attack errors from BYU, the Tritons came close at 18 to the Cougars’ 21. BYU came back by blocking UCSD’s advances and finished the second set at 25-19.

The third set began with a 3-3 tie until a 6-0 run from kills by Phil Fuchs and aces by Sander left the Cougs at 9-3. BYU kept their lead strong during the rest of the set and completed the match at 25-17.

“We talked about the need to be really focused and energetic and a little hedgy before the match, just to make sure we were all in 100 percent,” McGown said. “I thought the guys did a wonderful job doing that.”

The No. 8 Cougars are on a four-game winning streak and are headed back home to play Stanford on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. MST.

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