BYU men’s volleyball sweeps UC San Diego on back-to-back nights

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Jake Langlois celebrates a Cougar point. Langlois tallied 30 total kills against the Tritons. (Ari Davis)

BYU men’s volleyball took down the UC San Diego Tritons on Friday and Saturday night in the Smith Fieldhouse in two straight sweeps.

Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga came out ready Friday night, recording a career-high of 10 kills (.4717) and five digs. Jake Langlois also performed well with 17 kills on a .353 clip.

Saturday night was lead by Langlois with 13 kills and Tim Dobbert with 10 kills. Both players hit a .333 clip. Fa’agata-Tufuga lead the team with six digs and Wil Stanley had 27 assists.

BYU was missing All-American opposite hitter Ben Patch and All-American outside hitter Brenden Sanders, but the Cougars banded together to pull off the victory.

BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said he felt the adversity was beneficial for the team.

“We have a lot of new characters and I’m happy about that,” he said. “We stayed pretty collected and there were a few bumps, but for the most part they stayed pretty composed and collected and were able to pull out a win.”

After starting strong in the first set and gaining a 8-3 lead, the Tritons fought back to gain a 19-17 lead. A kill from Dobbert helped the Cougars close the gap at 21-20. After a back to back battle, Langlois stepped up the the service line at 24-24.

The Tritions celebrated their 26-24 win due to two BYU errors, but were disappointed to be then called on a net violation. The Cougars pounced on the opportunity for redemption and with an ace from Miki Jauhiainen and a block from Joe Grosh and Dobbert the game went to BYU at 27-25.

Set two started off strong with a kill from Dobbert. From there it was a battle per point and Cougars struggled to find a lead until another kill from Dobbert off the face of a Tritan gave the Cougars a 12-11 lead.

The Cougars struggled on the block until a Jauhiainen block at 14-12. The game stayed close until Langlois took it into his own hands. He gave the Cougars four out of the last five points putting the ball away at 25-21 for the Cougar win.

The Cougars came into the last set much more relaxed and confident. Fa’agata-Tufuga came out with the Cougars first kill at 1-2. From then BYU was on a roll. Zach Eschenbuerg collected back to back kills at 15-9 and Andrew Lincoln subbed in to finish the game 25-22.

“It was an opportunity for us to give some experience to guys who need it going into the rest of the season,” Olmstead said. “They need to be able to get those reps and play. Hopefully we were able to get a little bit better and more assertive and aggressive from the service line.”

Next, the Cougars take on Stanford on Feb. 23 in Palo Alto.

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