No. 9 BYU Defeates IPFW in Three


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LONG BEACH, Calif. - BYU's No. 9 men's volleyball team remained perfect on the weekend with a 3-0 sweep of IPFW on Saturday. The win marked the second in as many nights for the Cougars as they competed at the Long Beach State Active Ankle Tournament. With the victory BYU improves to 11-8 on the season.

Kevin Sagers knocked down a match-leading 11 kills, marking consecutive double-digit kill nights for the sophomore outside hitter. Redshirt freshman Futi Tavana added eight kills and a team-high seven blocks.

The Cougar defense held the Mastodons to a -0.01 attack percentage for the match, the lowest by a BYU opponent this season.

With the first set tied 11-11, Tavana gave BYU the lead with a kill. IPFW suffered three consecutive attack errors, further aiding the Cougars' momentum. Thirteen Mastodon errors, coupled with tough defensive play by BYU, resulted in a -.114 hitting percentage for IPFW in the first set. While continuing to pull away, another kill by Tavana gave BYU its largest lead of the set at 28-19. IPFW's Ben Duckworth recorded back-to-back service aces, but the Mastodons eventually fell 30-23 after a kill by Mat Taylor.

The IPFW offense continued to struggle in the second set, recording 10 errors compared to the Cougars' three. Never trailing after the 2-1 mark, BYU saw blocking help from Tavana and setter Yamil Perez. The Cougars went on a 9-2 run to go up 23-11, a run capped by back-to-back knock downs by Kevin Sagers and another from Alex Da Pron. Da Pron's second kill of the night brought up set-point, a point BYU clinched after a bad set by the Mastodons.

It was all BYU early in the third set as it jumped out to an unanswered 6-0 lead. The Mastodons managed three consecutive blocks to claw back to within two points, but another pair of kills by Sagers gave the Cougars' a comfortable lead. Sophomore Jeff Robinson subbed in with BYU leading 14-12, making an immediate impact with a kill and strong serves from the line. Opposite Kent Tuttle contributed three kills to give the Cougars an eight-point lead. Robinson and Lavaja both knocked down kills to clinch the 30-20 win and the sweep.

The Cougars return to Provo for a three-week home stay, first hosting MPSF foe Long Beach for two matches on March 20-21. Both matches will be played in the Smith Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. MT.

Article courtesy of BYU athletics.

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