MPSF Volleyball Results, Mar. 1

Brenden Sander, BYU (Photo courtesy BYU)
Brenden Sander, BYU (Photo courtesy BYU)
March 1, 2018

BYU 3, Pepperdine 2

Recap by BYU

PROVO, Utah - No. 5 BYU men's volleyball powered past No. 8 Pepperdine in five sets (22-25, 27-29, 25-23, 25-22, 15-11) Thursday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

"I'm proud of the guys for sticking to it," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "Down two sets is not the most ideal place to be in a volleyball match, but we were able to rebound and play better than in the first two sets."

Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the Cougars with 18 kills and seven digs, while Brenden Sander added 17 kills on a .467 clip. Felipe de Brito Ferreira collected a career-high of 10 blocks and Leo Durkin had season-highs of 56 assists, six blocks and three kills.

A Storm Fa'agata-Tufuga kill and Fernandez service ace opened the fifth set and helped push BYU (13-4, 6-0 MPSF) ahead 5-2. Another Fernandez ace maintained a 10-6 Cougar lead, forcing Pepperdine (9-4, 3-2 MPSF) into a timeout. The Waves answered the momentum with blocks to tie the set at 10-all. A save by Erik Sikes and a block by Durkin, Ferreira and Sander pulled BYU ahead 13-10. Another Durkin and Ferreira block brought the Cougars to set point and a Miki Jauhiainen and Sander block closed the set 15-11 to bring BYU to a 3-2 match win.

Pepperdine jumped to a 4-1 lead early in the first set, but a kill and service ace by Fernandez brought BYU back in the game, down by just one at 4-3. While the Waves remained ahead, kills by Ferreira and Sander pulled the Cougars back within one, 15-14. BYU called a timeout down 20-18 and came back to score the next two points to tie the game, 20-all, with a Sander kill and Wil Stanley service ace. Errors from the Cougars allowed the Waves to jump ahead, and a Pepperdine kill solidified the set, 25-22.

A Fernandez kill opened the second set giving BYU the edge, but Pepperdine answered with kills to tie the set 3-all. A Sander kill and Wave errors helped BYU jump ahead 7-4 early in the set. A kill by Fa'agata-Tufuga and back-to-back Cougar blocks kept BYU in the lead 12-9. The Waves came back in the set and both teams were within two of each other, exchanging leads at the end of the set. Tied at points 24 through 27, the Cougars had four-straight set points, but the Waves ultimately took the set with a 29-27 win.

With Pepperdine opening the third set with an edge, a Sander kill and Fa'agata-Tufuga service ace tied the score at 4-all. Both teams stayed within a point of each other until Pepperdine took at two-point lead, 13-11, forcing BYU into a timeout. A block by Jauhiainen and Fernandez helped BYU back in the set at 15-all. Due to Pepperdine errors and another Jauhiainen and Fernandez block, BYU took an 18-15 advantage after a 5-0 run. The Waves chipped away at the Cougar lead, but a Fernandez kill brought BYU to set point and Sander closed the set, 25-23, with a kill.

Both teams were within a point of each other early in the fourth set until Pepperdine slipped ahead 9-6. A Sander and Ferreira kill then helped BYU tie the set 10-all. Back-to-back kills from Durkin pulled the Cougars ahead 13-11. A block by Fa'agata-Tufuga and Ferreira helped BYU get ahead 20-16 after a 7-1 run. A Sander kill brought the Cougars to set point, 24-21. BYU took the set 25-22 after a Pepperdine service error to take the match into a fifth set.

The Cougars remain at home to play No. 3 UCLA Saturday, March 3, at 7 p.m. MST. Live stats are available on the men's schedule page and the match will be streamed on

UCLA 3, Stanford 1

Recap by UCLA

The No. 3-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team got back in the win column with a four-set victory at Stanford on Thursday night in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest on the Farm. Scores of the match were 25-12, 25-16, 18-25, 25-21. UCLA, now 15-4 overall and 4-1 in the MPSF, out blocked the Cardinal 11.5 to 2.0 and outhit their hosts .319 to .244 to snap a three-match losing skein.

UCLA stormed out to a 5-0 lead to begin set one behind three blocks by Oliver Martin. The Bruins upped the margin to 11-4 after blocks by Daenan Gyimah / JT Hatch and one by Hatch, Gyimah and Micah Ma'a. Two aces by Christian Hessenauer made it 13-4. A Martin kill lifted the Bruins into a 17-7 lead. A kill by Dylan Missry pushed the Bruins to set point at 24-12 and UCLA ended the frame with another block by Gyimah / Ma'a. The Bruins hit .400 and totaled 7.5 blocks in the initial set.

In set two, the Cardinal took their first lead of the match and moved out to a 4-6 edge. UCLA used the serve of Ma'a to rally back and run off a string of six straight points for a 13-9 lead. After Stanford closed to 18-15, the Bruins ran off four straight behind the serve of Martin for a 22-15 gap. Back-to-back aces from Ma'a finished off the set at 25-16.

The Bruins fell behind 3-8 at the start of set three. UCLA came back to cut the margin to 9-12 on a block by Gyimah / Hessenauer, but the Cardinal kept up the pressure and went up 11-17. A Missry kill made it 15-20 only to see Stanford score the next three points. A Missry kill and ace put the deficit at 17-23, but the Cardinal took the set 18-25 while hitting .467.

In set four, UCLA jumped into a 6-2 advantage after a Gyimah ace. Stanford closed to 7-4, but UCLA answered with the next four to take control. UCLA led 14-7 after a Gyimah kill and 16-9 after a spike from Ian Parish. An ace by Ma'a made it 20-13. A kill by Hessenauer put the contest at match point 24-18. However, Stanford fought off three straight match points and climbed to within three at 24-21. Hessenauer's 16th kill of the match ended the contest at 25-21.

UCLA now travels to play at No. 5-ranked BYU (13-4, 6-0) on Saturday night at 6 p.m. PT. The Cougars extended their lead in the MPSF on Thursday in a five-set home win over Pepperdine (3-2).


Recap by USC

March 1, 2018


LOS ANGELES--Keenan Sanders had 21 kills and 6 digs and Corey Chavers added 15 kills and 7 blocks to lead the No. 15-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team to a 25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23 non-conference win over USC on Thursday (March 1) in USC's Galen Center.

The match was rescheduled from earlier in the season when the Gauchos had travel issues because of the Santa Barbara mudslides. It was the teams' first meeting since UC Santa Barbara left the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, USC's longtime conference, to join the Big West this season.

UC Santa Barbara improved to 6-5 in 2018, while the Trojans lost their sixth consecutive match to fall to 4-13.

Gianluca Grasso and Jack Wyett each had 14 kills for USC, with Grasso hitting .423 and getting 11 digs and 3 aces. Sam Lewis added 11 kills and 3 aces, while Jon Rivera came off the bench to get 7 kills.

Sanders hit .429 for the Gauchos and Chavers was at .419. Randy DeWeese had 10 digs, 5 blocks and 3 aces, while Grady Yould had 8 digs.

UCSB hit .386 to USC's .303. The Gauchos had more blocks, 14.5 to 4.0, while the Trojans had more digs (40 to 34).

UC Santa Barbara scored 5 straight points to open up a 7-2 lead in the first set and USC could never overcome the deficit as the Gauchos posted 5.0 blocks and served 3 aces. The Trojans used a 4-0 run to build a 14-10 lead in the second set, but UCSB soon after had its own 4-point run to go up 19-17 and Troy was unable to catch up as the Gauchos hit .520. USC started the third set with a 3-0 lead and never relinquished it while hitting .484. The fourth set was tight until UCSB went on a 4-0 run to build a 13-10 edge, but USC tied it at 17-17 before the Gauchos soon after regained control with a 3-point run to move ahead 22-19, all the margin needed to close out the match while hitting .469 in the set with 4.0 blocks.

USC's next match is at Big West foe UC San Diego on March 7 at 7 p.m. PT. The Trojans then return home to host non-league foe Harvard on March 11 at 7 p.m. PT in the Galen Center.