Wednesday, April 8, 2020

No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball sweeps Concordia

No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball swept Concordia (25-15, 25-19, 25-20) on Thursday, Feb. 20, at home in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Gabi Garcia Fernandez led with 15 points and 10 kills, while Mitchel Worthington had nine digs and Miki Jauhiainen had seven blocks.

“I think we executed the game plan pretty well,” Jauhiainen said following the match. “The first two sets we served really great. The third one, the start was kind of iffy, but we got back into it and then passing was amazing.”

With Felipe de Brito Ferreira out due to an injury, the team made some adjustments on the court, including starting sophomore Branden Oberender.

“Both Miki and B.O. (Branden Oberender) did well, offensively and defensively, and got good touches,” coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We passed really, really well overall, and that allowed us to get the ball to those guys.”

Concordia earned the first point of the match, but an ace from Garcia Fernandez brought BYU into the lead with the score at 2-1. The teams traded points and the score was tied at 7-7, but a block by Davide Gardini and Jauhiainen and an ace from Zach Eschenberg helped the Cougars regain their lead and bring the score to 11-7. The Cougars maintained their lead for the rest of the set. A block by Jauhiainen and Garcia Fernandez brought the score to 21-13 and a kill by Gardini finished the set at 25-15.

Another kill by Gardini gave BYU the first point of the second set. A kill by Oberender and an ace and a kill from Garcia Fernandez earned the Cougars three consecutive points and allowed BYU to gain a 14-10 lead. A kill by Eschenberg finished the set, with BYU winning 25-19.

Concordia earned the first point of the third set. A block by Jauhiainen and Gardini gave the Cougars their first lead of the set and brought the score to 8-7. The teams continued to trade points before BYU gained a 16-12 lead thanks to kills from Jauhiainen and Garcia Fernandez as well as errors by Concordia. A block by Garcia Fernandez and Jauhiainen brought BYU’s lead to 18-14. A service error by Concordia gave BYU the win, finishing the set with a score of 25-20.

The Smith Fieldhouse was filled with fans despite a BYU men’s basketball game taking place at the same time in Provo. Coach Olmstead expressed his appreciation for the volleyball fanbase, as did Garcia Fernandez.

“The fans mean everything, you know,” Garcia Fernandez said. “We love them with all our hearts and we know they have our back.”

BYU’s record is 14-0 following their match against Concordia.

“We’re just trying to work with the guys on staying in the present,” coach Olmstead said. “Something we’ve harped on this entire season is staying in the moment and being present in the activity we’re in — whether we’re in the weight room, we’re in practice, we’re in some sort of team activity. And then the matches are kind of a reward where we get to play and go strap it up and play with our teammates and be with those guys.”

The Cougars will face USC in the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday, Feb. 22. BYU will then host Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 29.

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