BYU men’s volleyball beats Mount Olive in a 5-set battle to stay undefeated at home
BYU entered Thursday’s match against Mount Olive 2-2 on the year and ranked No. 8 in the nation, while the Trojans came in 2-0 and full of confidence. By the end of the five-set battle, though, it was the Cougars who came out on top.
BYU got off to a rocky start, dropping set one by giving up a 24-22 lead and senior Davide Gardini leaving the game due to an ankle injury.
“We didn’t let it rattle us that bad,” freshman Miks Ramis said. “We just said, ‘OK. Next players in. Let’s get it done.”
Ramis played with shocking poise and confidence for a freshman, leading the Cougars with 23 kills, six digs, three blocks and an ace. His 23 kills were the most by a BYU player in a single game since 2019. “I thought I had to step up. All around we were all committed to doing what we had to do.”
The Cougars bounced back, winning sets two and three by six points and five points, respectively. The Trojans fought back to take the fourth set 25-22.
“It’s not shocking that we’re going to go through these moments,” head coach Shawn Holmstead said. “Before you know it, they’ll get some big swings and they’ll get some momentum, and that’s exactly what happened.”
Mount Olive took the momentum gained from the previous set to go up 4-0 in the decisive fifth set. It seemed the Cougars were on the brink of disaster when they got a bit more of a fight than expected from the Trojans.
“The heart rate was up, my watch was telling me to calm down, or take a seat or stop running, but the guys stayed the course in that set,” Olmstead said. “All I said was play confident, be confident, and trust in what we do all the time and things will go our way.”
“We really just hyped each other up, we got together and we pushed through,” Ramis said. “It was all just completely mental game at that point cause it’s not the biggest likelihood of coming back, but we were committed, we were determined and we got through.”
Ramis added that BYU has a lot to work on before facing Mount Olive again on Saturday night when the Cougars hope to maintain their undefeated record at home this season and get another statement win against the Trojans.