#5 Cougars Outlast #15 PSU In 5; Sander/Fernandez Duo Pound 39 Kills

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | March 09th, 2018 | College - Men's Indoor, EIVA, MPSF, News


  • #5 BYU def. #15 Penn State, 3-2 (21-25, 29-27, 22-25, 25-19, 15-13)
  • BYU improves to 15-4; Penn State drops to 10-5
  • Honolulu, Hawai’i
  • Box score

HONOLULU, Hawai’i – In the first match of the Outrigger Resorts Invitational, #5 BYU rode the arms of Brenden Sander and Gabi Garcia Fernandez to a five-set win over #15 Penn State (21-25, 29-27, 22-25, 25-19, 15-13).

BYU was led by Brenden Sander with a match-high 20 kills, hitting .390 to go along with his 5 digs and 2 blocks. Gabi Garcia Fernandez continued to light up the scoreboard this season by contributing 19 kills on .419 hitting and adding a match-high 3 aces. No other Cougar had more than 6 kills, and no other Cougar was set more than 18 times. Felipe de Brito Ferreira blocked a match-high-tying 7 balls. Setter Leo Durkin led the efficient offense (.302) with a match-high of 50 assists, a team-high of 9 digs and 5 blocks.

Penn State had three players in double-digit kills. Leading the way for the Nittany Lions was Matthew McLaren with 19 kills on .361 hitting. McLaren also filled the stat sheet with a team-high-tying 2 aces, 3 digs, 3 blocks and 3 assists. 6-11 opposite Calvin Mende had 18 kills on .333 hitting to go along with his 5 blocks and 4 digs. Rounding out the double-digit kill masters was Kevin Gear who pounded 10 kills on a match-high .562 hitting for all attackers. Gear added 3 blocks, including the match’s only solo block. Setter Luke Braswell ran the offense to a .314 clip with 49 assists. Jalen Penrose finished with a match-high-tying 7 blocks. Libero Royce Clemens led all floor defenders with 13 digs.

Even the stats made the match as close as the scores indicated. The Nittany Lions won the kill battle, 64-56, led in hitting percentage, .314-.302 and won the dig battle, 38-36. BYU had more aces (7-6) and the two teams finished with 11 blocks each.


Courtesy of BYU Athletics

HONOLULU – Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Brenden Sander helped No. 4 BYU men’s volleyball past No. 11 Penn State in five sets (21-25, 29-27, 25-22, 19-25, 15-13) Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center to begin play in the Outrigger Resorts Invitational.

“I’m really proud of the guys for staying in the whole match,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Penn State is really well coached. I’m proud of the way we executed the game plan and pushed through some difficult moments.”

Sander led the Cougars with 20 kills to go with five digs, and Fernandez added 19 kills on a .419 clip and three aces. Leo Durkin set the team with 50 assists while contributing nine digs. Felipe de Brito Ferreira had seven blocks in the win.

Miki Jauhiainen got the first kill of the decisive fifth set for BYU (15-4, 7-0 MPSF). A kill gave Penn State (10-5, 5-2 EIVA) a 5-3 lead, however. The Cougars followed with four-straight points, capped off by a Sander ace, to go up 7-5. Penn State tied the score at 8-8, but BYU scored the next three points to take an 11-8 advantage. The Nittany Lions then got within a point on multiple occasions, but the Cougars took the set and match 15-13 after a Fernandez kill.

Penn State jumped out to a 3-0 lead to start the first set, but back-to-back aces from Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga inched BYU ahead 8-7. The Nittany Lions were soon back in control at 17-14, however, following two service errors from each team and a Penn State kill. Wil Stanley then subbed in, collecting an ace to help push the Cougars to an 18-17 edge. The Nittany Lions went on a 4-1 run to go up 22-20 before taking the set 25-21 on a kill.

Four kills from Fernandez gave BYU a 6-3 lead to start the second set. A block from Jauhiainen and Sander kept the Cougars ahead 13-10. Penn State followed with a 4-0 rally to take a 17-16 lead. A service error from the Nittany Lions gave BYU set point at 24-23, but the teams went into overtime before a kill from Cyrus Fa’alogo and a Penn State attack error gave the Cougars the set 29-27.

A kill from Sander and several Nittany Lion errors pushed BYU ahead 6-2 at the beginning of the third set. The Cougars stayed ahead at 12-8 after another Sander kill. Penn State then scored four-straight points to tie things up at 12 apiece. The teams remained within a point of each other until a Durkin and Ferreira block put BYU up 18-16 in the tight set. Another Cougar block gave BYU set point, 24-22, before a Fernandez kill won the set 25-22.

Another Fernandez kill helped BYU take a 7-5 lead in the fourth set. The Nittany Lions went on a 5-1 run, capped off by an ace, to take a 14-12 advantage. Penn State stayed in control at 24-17 following a 7-1 run, which forced a timeout from the Cougars. The Nittany Lions then won the set 25-19, sending the match to the decisive fifth set.

Courtesy of Penn State Athletics

HONOLULU, Hawai’i – Penn State battled No. 4 BYU to five sets Thursday night in the Stan Sheriff Center in its opening match of the Outrigger Invitational, falling 3-2 (25-21, 27-29, 22-25, 25-19, 13-15) to the Cougars.

The Nittany Lions took the opening set to hold an initial 1-0 lead, but BYU turned the tables quickly taking sets two and three leaving that match in the favor of the Cougars 2-1.

Set four saw Penn State dominate as the Nittany Lions end the set on a 10-5 run sparked by multiple Matt McLaren kills. McLaren finished the match with a team-high 19 kills as well as two service aces and three blocks.

Tied 2-2, Penn State kept it close knotting the set on six separate occasions including an 8-8 tie late in the set. BYU’s Gabi Garcia Fernande landed the kill that clinched the set and match for the Cougars.

Two other Nittany Lions registered double-digit kills on the night including Calvin Mende (18) and Kevin Gear (10). As a team, Penn State outhit BYU finishing with a .314 hitting percentage to BYU’s .302.

Both teams tied in team blocks each posting 11.0 as a squad.

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