#3 BYU Men’s Volleyball swept #15 Penn State in their home opener on Friday night, beating the Nittany Lions 25-23, 25-19, 25-22 in front of 4,440 at the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars and Nittany Lions played last year in State College, with BYU winning in five sets. This time, the Cougars were excellent, hitting an outstanding .464 as a team through the match, hitting above .500 in the first two sets.
BYU and Penn State traded points early in the first set, and neither team created a lead greater than 3 in the set. BYU would hold on to win the set 25-23.
The second set was much more dominant from the Cougars, who hit .565 in the set with 15 kills. Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Davide Gardini were excellent, as was Felipe de Brito Ferreira. BYU would create an 8-point margin at 16-8 and would coast to a 25-19 victory.
Penn State took a quick lead in the third set, but BYU quickly came back and fought the Nittany Lions down the stretch. BYU led 20-17 before Penn State tied things up again, only for BYU to close out the set on a 5-2 run. The run was highlighted by sophomore Jon Stanley’s first career ace, a moment which brought the Smith Fieldhouse to their feet in a standing ovation.
Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Davide Gardini led the Cougars on the stat line again. The junior and sophomore hit .455 and .750 respectively, recording 14 and 13 kills in the process. Felipe de Brito Ferreira and Wil Stanley were also phenomenal in the middle of the court for the Cougars.
BYU plays Penn State again Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse at 5 p.m. BYU is 3-0 on the season and has beaten all three of its opponents by a combined 9 sets to 2. All three teams BYU has played were ranked in the Top 15, as are most of the teams in BYU’s tough schedule.