The Cougars kicked off the first round of the MPSF tournament Saturday night in the Smith Fieldhouse with a victory over the Stanford Cardinal.
BYU won in three sets (25-19, 25-21, 25-18). Tim Dobbert led BYU with 13 kills, Joe Grosh put up six blocks and Erik Sikes had eight digs. The Cougars had seven serving aces with only 13 service errors.
“We were really aggressive from the service line,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Once we got them in certain positions passing, we felt we had a good idea of what they were going to do. We made good touches from there. All credit to our servers, they were the start of our defense.”
BYU took control in the beginning of the first set (11-6) with back-to-back blocks from Grosh and Jake Langlois and a kill from Brenden Sander. An ace from Dobbert kept the momentum alive (15-10) followed later with a kill (19-14). Langlois finished the set with a kill for 25-19. The Cougars kept their serving errors low, only missing two, while the Cardinal gave up seven.
Set two had a different feel with the score bouncing back and forth. A few errors from the Cougars gave the Cardinals a lead at 11-8. A block from Dobbert and Price Jarman followed by two aces from Langlois put BYU back on top 12-11. From there the Cougars took the energy back and added three more aces to the board. A kill from Dobbert gave BYU game point at 24-20. BYU took the second set 25-21.
Jarman started the third set with back-to-back kills for BYU. The Cougars continued steady the third set with good offense from all positions. Dobbert and Sander both had moments of back-to-back kills. A Jarman and Leo Durkin block (19-15) kept the pace for the Cougars and a Dobbert kill gave BYU 23-18. Two back-to-back blocks from Dobbert and Grosh gave BYU the match at 25-18.
Next, BYU will play the winner of the Hawaii vs Pepperdine match.