The No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team defeated USC in four sets (23-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-
21) to win their thirteenth-straight match.
This puts the Cougars’ overall record at 18-4 and conference record at 8-0.
Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the Cougars with 14 kills, seven digs, and five aces.
Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga contributed 13 kills and two digs, and Brenden Sander added nine kills for the win.
“Gabi had an incredible serving game tonight,” said coach Shawn Olmstead. “Five aces is big time – that was huge for us. I like that he’s getting more and more confident there.”
The Trojans started powerfully by leading almost the entire first set. USC had a 5-0 run that put them up 14-10 ahead of BYU. The Cougars were able to catch up and tie the set at 22, but it wasn’t enough to stop USC from taking the first set 25-23
The refueled Cougars took the court in the second set and gained control, leading 13-7. A 4-1 BYU rally propelled them forward to a 23-14 lead. BYU finished the set 25-16 on a USC service error.
The Trojans responded in the third set and the two teams traded blows to tie things up at four. A 5-0 run helped BYU take a firm lead, 13-9. The Cougars remained in the lead and a Fernandez kill ended the set, 25-23.
The fourth set started with an early Cougar lead of 4-1. BYU maintained this lead until USC
caught up to tie the set at nine. Fa’agata-Tufuga helped the team with back-to-back kills to give the Cougars a 5-0 rally, and take a firm lead, 19-15. Three USC errors gave BYU the set and the match, winning 25-21.
The Cougars host Concordia Irvine in the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday, Mar. 29, at 7:00 p.m.