BYU Volleyball swept Concordia-Irvine (32-30, 25-18, 25-13) in their first match at the Smith Fieldhouse since January 12. Concordia-Irvine, who is coached by former BYU player and coach Shawn Patchell, came into the match on the heels of a 3-1 win over fellow MPSF foe Grand Canyon.
The Cougars and Eagles battled an intense first set, as the Cougars could not extend a lead nor find a way to finish the set. The Eagles had beaten the Cougars in five sets last spring, and the first set gave the impression that Thursday night could be similar. The Cougars finally had an opportunity to win the set, but the Eagles were reluctant. The Cougars would need six set points to win 32-30, while the Eagles had two set points themselves before the Cougars closed it out.
The Cougars eased into the second set, and the result never really looked in doubt for them. Gabi Garcia Fernandez was again phenomenal, as were Davide Gardini and Felipe de Brito Ferreira. The Cougars would win the set comfortably, 25-18.
The third set opened well for the Cougars, who took a commanding lead. Patchell’s men couldn’t find a way to stop or even slow the Cougars. BYU would go on to win the set 25-13, giving the Cougars their first win in five matches.
The Cougars were excellent all-around on the court. Fernandez hit .400 while collecting 14 kills, while Gardini hit .455 and had an additional 14 kills. Andrew Lincoln hit .467 while smashing eight kills, and Ferreira also added eight kills on an .600 hitting night. Wil Stanley had 41 assists for the Cougars, who also had five aces on the night.
The Cougars will host USC on Saturday night at 7 pm at the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars are now 5-4 on the season and 1-2 in MPSF play.