Season-high hitting percentage leads No. 3 BYU past Princeton

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The No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball team defeated Princeton in three sets Friday night behind efficient hitting and a strong blocking effort.

Ari Davis
The BYU men’s volleyball team celebrates after scoring a point against UCSB last week. The Cougars defeated Princeton in three close sets Friday night behind their season-best .492 hitting percentage. (Ari Davis)

“I’m happy for the team and a good win,” said BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. “It’s nice to be back east and see the support for BYU. The fans showed up big time and we can’t thank them enough.”

Price Jarman led all players in the match with with nine blocks. Leo Durkin, Brenden Sander and Michael Hatch also contributed five blocks each. Tim Dobbert added to the offensive performance with 14 kills and a service ace. Kiril Meretev posted seven kills with Jarman and Sander contributing another six each.

The Cougars had their best hitting percentage of the season at .492 after last week’s .487 against UC Santa Barbara. Princeton finished the match with a .271 hitting percentage.

BYU took an early 7-4 lead over the Tigers behind three kills by Dobbert. Princeton responded well and kept within three to the score of 14-11. After taking a 18-14 lead BYU allowed Princeton to come within two at 22-20. BYU finished the set strong with a 25-22 score. The Cougars finished the set with a .625 hitting percentage.

Princeton took their first two point lead of the match in the second set at 10-8. The Tigers led by as many as four in the set before the Cougars responded with a 6-2 run to tie the game again. BYU took the lead again at 20-17 behind consecutive blocks by Jarman and Durkin. The set ended with BYU continuing their streak, winning the set 25-19.

The third set started with both teams playing to each other’s level at a score of 14-14.¬†Princeton took away the Cougars’ two point lead at 20-20 after a kill from Kendall Ratter. The Cougars responded with a 3-0 run and won the match 25-22.

BYU is set to play again Saturday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m. EST to finish off their east coast road trip at NJIT. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

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