BYU steals second victory over Pacific

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BYU beat Pacific 3-1 (25-19, 25-16, 20-25, 25-19) on the road Friday night, marking its second win over the Tigers this season.

“I thought the thing that was going to be the biggest issue coming into the match was getting back into the swing of the rhythm of competition after a weekend off,” said BYU head coach Chris McGown. “That’s always a little bit of a question mark. I thought we came out with quite a bit of fire and energy. But you could tell we weren’t terribly sharp. It didn’t by any means upset me that we lost that third set because it gave us a chance to play a little bit more and to work through some of those problems.”

Taylor Sander (15) and Devin Young (19) leap for a block in the MPSF Championship match last season. Photo by Elliott Miller.
Taylor Sander (15) and Devin Young (19) leap for a block in the MPSF Championship match last season. (Photo by Elliott Miller)

Josue Rivera led the Cougars with 13 kills and three service aces while Phil Fuchs had a career-high 11 kills and five blocks. Michael Hatch and Carson Heninger also had career-highs in blocks, nine and seven respectively.

“We had some interesting lineup combinations that we don’t play too much,” McGown said. “I thought it was good to get some of our other guys in the match, give them some game experience.”

Pacific took the lead in the first set, after which the Cougars retaliated with a 7-0 run. The Tigers had their own four-point run, and the Cougars’ lead narrowed to 14-10. Rivera fired three consecutive service aces and finished the set on a kill at 25-19.

BYU fired ahead in the second set, leading 8-1. The Tigers responded, but three kills from Rivera kept the Cougars’ lead at 15-9. The Cougars held their lead and took the set on a block by Fuchs and Devin Young, 25-16.

The Cougars lost momentum on the third set, after Pacific took its first lead since the beginning set. The Tigers had a 4-0 run, leading 6-4. The Cougars tied the score at 11 after an ace by Hatch.

Pacific took back the lead at 19-15. The Cougars failed to respond, and the Tigers finished the set, 25-20.

BYU took another lead in the fourth set at 6-2. The Tigers fought back, and the teams exchanged leads four times. Rivera sparked the Cougars’ 4-0 run with a kill, and Hatch and Fuchs followed up with blocks. Fuchs completed the match with a kill, 25-19.

The Cougars play Stanford Saturday at 8 p.m., MDT.

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