BYU men’s volleyball went 2-0 on their first road trip of the year, defeating No. 14 Ball State and upsetting No. 1 Ohio State, who defeated the Cougars last year in the national championship.

Freshman Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the charge for BYU and was named AVCA Player of the Week, a national honor, for his stellar efforts.

Against the Cardinals, he collected his first-ever double-double of 13 kills on a career-high .458 clip and a match-high 11 digs. It also his career-high in digs.

Fernandez also served up a career-high three aces – most on either team – and the second-most blocks of the night with four.

The Cougars beat the Cardinals three sets to two.

Then, in the upset of the top-ranked Buckeyes, he put up a team-best 19 kills to go with six blocks – tied for most of the match. Fernandez also added five digs and two aces in the win.

It was a closely contested affair, with BYU taking the second, third and fifth sets.

“This was a fun match to be a part of from start to finish,” said coach Shawn Olmstead. “I’m proud of how the team responded after the first set to come back and get the win.”

One of Fernandez’s two aces came in the decisive fifth set, spurring the Cougars to an improbable victory.

“Gabi’s the man,” said senior middle blocker Price Jarman. “He has just been absolutely lights out for us.  Even if the numbers didn’t show it, and they do, all of the little things he does for us as a team are really, really big.”

On the week, Fernandez totaled 32 kills on a .349 clip, 16 digs, 10 blocks and five aces.

The No. 5 ranked Cougars, who are now 3-1 on the season, return home to Provo this weekend to take on Barton Friday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. MST. The match will be televised on BYUtv.

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