PROVO, Utah - Fourth-ranked BYU used its tough serving and its NCAA-leading blocking to sweep 14th-ranked Cal State Northridge 25-10, 25-20, 25-20 in the opener of a two-match MPSF set Thursday at Smith Fieldhouse.
The Matadors (10-14, 6-11 MPSF), who hit a combined .341 in a pair of wins over Hawaii last weekend, managed just an .044 hitting clip Thursday. Current MPSF Player of the Week Julius Hoefer was stifled by the Cougars in his first trip to Smith Fieldhouse putting down just four kills in 14 swings while committing seven errors to hit a a season-low -.214.
Sophomore Brandon Lebrock led Northridge with eight kills (.158) while Matt Stork added seven kills (.100) off the bench in his first action since Mar. 10 against Harvard. Junior John Baker was the only Matador to find any degree of success as he knocked down six kills in 14 swings to hit a team-high .357. Charlie Condron posted a team-hig eight digs from his libero spot.
The entire Matador starting lineup had never played a match in Smith Fieldhouse where BYU enjoys an incredible home court advantage.
"We got better every game which is encouraging," said head coach Jeff Campbell. "If we continue to play hard and get better each game, we'll give ourselves a chance tomorrow night."
The Cougars (19-5, 15-4 MPSF), who hit .423 and out-blocked the Matadors 10.5-2.0, used their serve kept the Matadors off balance the entire opening set. Northridge was forced out of system on several occasions resulting in BYU blocks. The Cougars had 6.5 team blocks in the set and bolted out to a 15-7 lead and the Matadors would not recover.
With starting setter Danny Rodrick running a fever, Campbell turned to freshman Travis Magorien and after the Matadors hit -.250 in the opening set, Northridge hit .125 and .176 in the final two sets.
Despite dropping set two, the Matadors doubled their kill output from five to 10 and stayed close throughout the set. In the final set, Northridge managed three leads and were within two at 18-16 before the Cougars pulled away late.
Taylor Sander led BYU with a match-high 16 kills (.750) while Robb Stowell added 11 (.318)
The two teams wrap up the two-match set Friday at 7 p.m. MDT
- GO MATADORS -