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#3 BYU Men’s Volleyball beats #11 Loyola-Chicago in season opener

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#3 BYU Men’s Volleyball opened its 2020 season with a tough win at #11 Loyola-Chicago on Friday night, beating the Ramblers in 4 sets (25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 25-16).

Gabi Garcia Fernandez picked off right where he left off last year, leading the Cougars with 22 kills while Davide Gardini added 21 himself.

The Cougars were challenged all evening by the Ramblers, who never allowed BYU to lead by more than 6 during the first three sets. The Cougars would finally take over in the fourth set, trading point to 10 before going on a 8-0 run to extend a 18-10 lead on the Ramblers. Powerful serves from Fernandez helped during the streak, with one of his four aces coming during the run. BYU played tough at the nets, with the Cougars winning several jousts and recording nine blocks.

Fernandez’s final stat line was 22 kills with 4 aces, hitting .537 on the night. Gardini was phenomenal too, with 21 kills on .636 hitting. Wil Stanley had 53 assists for BYU, who has a team had 63 kills and 11 service aces. Zach Eschenberg contributed four of those eleven aces and also added 8 kills himself.

BYU will stay in the Chicago area to play Lewis on Saturday night. The game begins at 6 p.m. MST and can be streamed here.