BYU defends No. 1 rank against No. 8 Pepperdine


The BYU men’s volleyball team defended its new No. 1 ranking by beating No. 8 Pepperdine in three sets Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

Ben Patch goes for the kill earlier this season. Patch finished the match against Pepperdine with 18 kills. (Universe Archives)

The Waves put pressure on the Cougars by quickly going up 12-8 in the first set. As the match progressed BYU improved and hit their stride.

“I felt like our guys got a little tentative because (Pepperdine) always has very good blocking discipline,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Their hands were in our faces making touches and I felt like it took a little bit out of our guys.”

Olmtead said that some players attributed a slow start to their bye week.

The Cougars won the first set 28-26 after multiple lead changes. BYU learned from their mistakes and won 25-19 and 25-20 in the second and third sets.

“We take a really humble approach to volleyball. We want to get better every single point so we don’t accept mediocracy,” Ben Patch said. “When we get down it’s really easy for us to refocus because we are on the same page of getting better.”

BYU finished the night with 10 blocks and a .380 hitting percentage compared to Pepperdine’s 3.5 and .296.


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