BYU men’s volleyball loses to unranked Stanford

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Ari Davis
Brenden Sander and Jaylen Reyes reach to dig the ball in the Feb. 28 game against Ball State. (Ari Davis)

BYU men’s volleyball lost to Stanford University Friday in four sets (25-21, 19-25, 16-25, 18-25). The match took place in Stanford, California and is the first of the teams’ two-night double header.

Stanford’s unranked team rallied three straight sets in a massive upset against the number-four Cougars.

“I just thought we got outplayed,” BYU head coach Chris McGown said. “It’s probably the least prepared we’ve been for a team all season.”

The Cougars won the first set of the night, but Stanford came alive in next three. The Cardinal’s serving dominated BYU’s defense. Stanford juniors Madison Hayden and James Shaw each contributed three aces to the team’s nine total.

“We got crushed in the serve and pass portion of the game,” McGown said. “Their servers found some rhythm and we completely lost ours.”

BYU lost an initial 2-1 lead at the beginning of the second set as Stanford rallied to get up 6-3. The Cardinal never gave up the advantage and eventually won 25-19 to tie the match.

Stanford brought their momentum in the third set and took complete control. Their blocks shut down the Cougar offense and the score quickly reached 10-2. Stanford reached an 11-point lead during the set. BYU managed to close the gap slightly and lose by nine points.

The Cougars earned another small lead at the beginning of the fourth and were up 5-2, but Stanford again took control to lead 10-8. The teams battled as the set continued, but a final Cardinal rally ended the set 25-18 and finished the match.

Freshman Brenden Sander led BYU with 12 kills. Carson Heninger and Jake Langlois added eight and seven more, respectively, but the Cougar offense struggled overall against Stanford’s blocking and passing.

McGown said BYU needs to make changes from tonight’s game play to succeed and split the weekend.

“It wasn’t even close, so it was really tough to be competitive,” McGown said. “Hopefully we’ll be better prepared mentally tomorrow and dial in a little bit better with our serve and pass.”

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