What a match tonight at the Smith Fieldhouse between BYU and Long Beach State. In the end BYU won 3-2 (25-23, 25-14, 20-25, 21-25, 15-7) on the backs of star players Taylor Sander and Futi Tavana.
BYU and LBSU were neck and neck in game one with LBSU playing well. But the Niners found themselves hitting into the Great Wall of Samoa -- Futi Tavana. Futi got something like 8 (!) blocks in that first game alone and that was the difference in a tight set one win.
In game two the score was tied 12-12 when BYU went on a huge run. The Cougs pretty much steamrolled the Niners in that second set and looked poised to sweep the match. But LBSU was having none of that. The Niners came alive in sets three and four, solidly beating BYU in the third set and taking advantage of some atrocious BYU passing to close out a tight fourth set. But in set 5, BYU started hitting on all cylinders again. BYU remembered how to pass and they went to Taylor Sander early and often. The Cougars jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the game to 15 and never looked back.
Here are my random observations about the match and the team this year: