No. 2 ranked BYU Men’s Volleyball overcame No. 8 Pepperdine in four sets (25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20) on Saturday, Feb. 8. BYU has now moved to 12-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
The other times BYU started this well was the 2008 season when it went 12-0 and the 1999 season when it went 18-0.
This game also marks Coach Shawn Olmstead’s 100th win. He joins Carl McGown, the only other coach in the program’s history to achieve this.
“At the end of everything, the wins and losses won’t matter to me. It’s about the people around me,” Olmstead said. “I hope I’ve impacted their life in some way shape or form and if I have, hey, it’s a win.”
Gabi Garcia Fernandez, assisted by Wil Stanley, opened set one with a kill to gain the first point. He then went on to get back-to-back blocks with Felipe de Brito Ferreira, making the score 4-1. After giving up a point to the Waves, the Cougars went on a four-point scoring run, bringing the game 8-2. BYU pulled away, and a kill by Miki Jauhiainen sealed BYU a 25-18 set win. The team had a total of eight blocks in the first set while Fernandez had six kills.
BYU won the first point of set two by a Waves service error. After forfeiting four points, Fernandez and Jauhiainen had back-to-back kills, making the score 8-7. BYU battled to stay on a consistent scoring run and traded points with the Waves throughout the second set. Davide Gardini had an ace to bring the score 21-18 in favor of the Cougars. Fernandez contributed four kills, the last one winning set two 25-22.
Set three started with a BYU point from another Waves service error. Fernandez had an ace that tied the score 13-13.
After trading more possessions, Gardini served an ace that gave BYU a 16-14 lead. The Waves had the longest scoring run of the set — a run of three points — that brought the score 18-17 in favor of Pepperdine. The Cougars ended up falling 25-22 after a Fernandez service error.
Ferreira started set four off with a kill. The teams traded points throughout the match, but an ace by Jauhiainen put the Cougars in the lead 17-14. A kill by Zach Eschenberg, one of four in the set, put BYU up 22-18. A Gardini kill won the Cougars set four and the match 25-20.
Fernandez lead both teams in points and kills, averaging 17.5 points and 14 blocks.
“It’s about doing my job,” Fernandez said. “My job on the team is the guy that kills the ball.”
Ferreira was the leading blocker out of both teams averaging seven blocks for the match that aided Olmstead’s 100th win.
“I’m happy for him,” Ferreira said. “I think he puts a lot of time and effort into the program and so it feels great to represent BYU and him.”
The Cougars will face Grand Canyon in Phoenix, Arizona, on Feb. 14 and then will take on Concordia at home on Feb. 20.