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BYU volleyball sweeps No. 1 Hawaii, preps for MPSF tournament

Winless in March, undefeated in April regular season play.

Senior Phil Fuchs celebrates as BYU sweeps #1 Hawaii.
Senior Phil Fuchs celebrates as BYU sweeps #1 Hawaii.
BYU Cougars

PROVO — BYU Cougars men’s volleyball swept then ranked #1 Hawaii at the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday and Saturday.

To recap, BYU ended February ranked #4 and received one first place vote in the AVCA. They proceeded to go winless in March, losing to an unranked Stanford, #4 Pepperdine and #5 UC Irvine.

After a bye week, the Cougars swept #13 Cal State Northridge the second week in April, winning both games in three sets.

"That losing streak was rough for us," Freshman Brenden Sander told BYU SportsNation. "These past few weeks we just came into practice and just put our heads down and went after it and did not stop until we were completely satisfied with how we were doing in practice."

BYU won its first game against Hawaii in four sets (27-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-17). Sander led the team with 14 kills and Matt Underwood had 13.

Seniors Jaylen Reyes, Phil Fuchs and Josue Rivera took the court on Saturday to be honored by the team and the crowd in BYU’s regular season finale. Rivera, who had a broken hand, dressed in street clothes.

Hawaii tried to sour the senior sendoff, winning the first set 22-25 and third set 23-25. BYU took the second (25-21), fourth (25-18) and fifth (15-13) sets. 

"Guys just did a great job staying composed and playing through the entirety of the match," BYU head coach Chris McGown told the Deseret News.

Vinnie Lopes of Off The Block reminded everyone on twitter what the expectations for BYU volleyball were this year.

Fuchs led the team with 22 kills, tying his career high. Sander had 16 kills.

BYU is the 5-seed in the MPSF tournament and will play at 4-seed USC on Saturday. BYU and USC split their regular-season series at USC. The winner of that game will face the winner of 1-seed UC Irvine and 8-seed UCLA in the semifinals on April 30. BYU swept UCLA at the Smith Fieldhouse. UC Irvine swept BYU at Smith Fieldhouse in March, ending a 36-home match win streak.