BYU men’s volleyball took on No. 1 Long Beach at home, splitting the weekend with a victory Friday night and a loss on Saturday.
Friday night the Cougars upset the 49ers in a thrilling five set match (20-25, 26-24, 25-20, 21-25, 17-15), with over 5,000 fans in attendance. Price Jarman led with a .750 hitting clip, while Jake Langlois recorded a season-high 20 kills and 10 digs. Tim Dobbert had 12 kills and lead with a season-high in digs (16). Wil Stanley stepped in to set and had a career-high 36 assists.
Saturday night the Cougars lost in three sets to the 49ers (21-25, 22-25 ,21-25). Langlois led with 10 kills, followed by Brenden Sander with eight and Ben Patch with seven. Patch recorded his 1,000th kill in the third set against Long Beach.
“I felt like anytime we did something good or got a lead (Long Beach) responded really well and stayed right in it,” said head coach Shawn Olmstead. “Hats off to them, anytime we got a lead we couldn’t pull away. They made some nice adjustments.”
Saturday night began with honoring BYU’s three seniors Jake Langlois, Joe Grosh and Kiril Meretev.
Jake Langlois is a three-year starter, a 2016 Second Team All-American, and has collected 825 kills on his career along with 81 aces and 201 blocks.
Joeseph Grosh is a one-year starter and has had 206 kills, 179 blocks and 24 serving aces.
Kiril Meretev has collected 174 kills, 97 digs and 47 blocks thus far for the Cougars.
The Cougars and 49ers fought point for point in the first set. A demolishing kill followed by an ace from Jarman gave BYU a lead at 5-4. From there, points jumped from team to team, with neither BYU nor Long Beach earning more than a two point run. Long Beach pushed to a 20-16 lead after a three point run. Long Beach took the first set 25-21.
Sander started the second set with a kill to the corner for 1-0. Just as the first set, the Cougars and 49ers went back and forth with points. The 49ers went on a three point run for 15-13. Coming from behind, the Cougars fought back and a kill from Langlois gave BYU 20-21. Sander kept the Cougars dream alive with a kill for 22-24, but it wasn’t enough and Long Beach won the second set 25-22.
Patch gave the Cougars their first point in the second set and his debut kill after being out with a groin injury the last few weeks. BYU didn’t begin the third set as strong as the sets previous but a from Jarman and back to back kills Langlois gave BYU the lead for 8-7. A block by Leo Durkin followed by a kill from Sander brought the crowd to their feet screaming for the Cougars. Patch scored his 1,000 kill at 17-19. The 49ers took the match 25-21.
This is the first time BYU was swept in the Smith Fieldhouse since playing Stanford in 2012.
The Cougars have a bye next week and wait to see where they will be seeded in the MPSF tournament.