BYU men's volleyball vs. Stanford 2021

The BYU men's volleyball team celebrates a victory against Stanford in the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday, March 13, 2021.

Davide Gardini totaled 18 kills and hit .556 to lead the No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team to a 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-17) victory at No. 4 Pepperdine on Friday, the Cougars sixth straight win.

Gabi Garcia Fernandez added 15 kills and four service aces. Filipe de Brito Ferreira had eight kills in nine swings with no errors (.889) as BYU rallied after losing the first set to the Waves.

The Cougars are 3-0 against Pepperdine this season, having beaten the Waves 3-0 and 3-1 in Provo Feb. 12 and 13.

Pepperdine hit .424 in the first set victory but BYU dominated from there, finishing with a .343 hitting percentage (to the Waves’ .308), getting 8.5 blocks (to 6.0 for Pepperdine) and siding out at a 70.4% clip.

Austin Wilmot had 16 kills and hit .520 for the Waves.

In the pivotal third set, BYU jumped out to a 6-1 lead on a Garcia Fernandez service ace. At 24-21, Garcia Fernandez blasted another ace that bounced off a Wave player, ricocheted off the ceiling and to the floor for the winner.

A 4-0 run in Set 4, capped by a kill from Gardini, gave the Cougars a commanding 21-13 lead. Garcia Fernandez got the game winner for a 25-17 win and the match.

BYU (11-2) and Pepperdine (8-4) meet again at 2 p.m. MT. Saturday.

Baseball takes Game 2 from LMU

LOS ANGELES — BYU jumped out to an early lead with a five-run third inning and cruised to a 9-2 win over Loyola Marymount in Game 2, Friday, of a three-game series at Page Stadium.

“I’m excited about the way we played the last two nights,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “I really like the energy and the way we are swinging the bat one-through-nine in the lineup. Winning comes down to doing the little things and we’ve done that pretty well the past couple of nights.”

After a scoreless tie through the first two innings, the Cougars exploded with seven hits in the top of the third to take a 5-0 lead. Singles by Andrew Pintar, Bryan Call and Mitch McIntyre gave BYU (5-11, 2-0) its first run of the game. Later in the inning with two outs and two on, Cole Gambill doubled down the rightfield line to score Call and advance McIntyre to third. A single to centerfield by Jacob Wilk drove in Gambill and McIntyre, and back-to-back singles by Freddy Achecar and Danny Gelalich plated two more runs.

LMU (7-9, 0-2) picked up a couple of runs in the bottom of the fourth on one hit and two BYU errors to close the gap to 5-2.

The Cougar bats remained hot scoring runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to push the BYU lead to 9-2.

A two-out triple to left center by Gelalich scored Achecar for one run in the fifth inning. A home run by Pintar to lead off the next inning, combined with a double by Gambill to score Call gave BYU two more in the sixth. A double down the leftfield line by Gelalich, and an RBI single by Pintar finished off the BYU scoring in the seventh.

BYU sophomore Tyson Heaton closed out the game with three scoreless innings to get the save, while freshman Boston Mabeus picked up the win in middle relief with three strikeouts over 1.2 innings. Sophomore starter Carter Smith went 4.1 innings, striking out a game-leading eight LMU hitters.

“Carter Smith gave us a great start,” said Littlewood. “He set the tone early and was a bulldog on the mound for us tonight.”

Game 3 of the series with LMU is set for Saturday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on the BYU Sports Network via BYU Radio FM 107.9, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app. Live stats are available at StatBroadcast.com.

Tennis sweeps Portland

BYU women’s tennis (10-5, 1-0 WCC) completed its fifth sweep of the season, racing past Portland (1-5, 0-1 WCC), 7-0, in the conference opener at the Outdoor Tennis Courts on Friday.

Anastasia Abramyan and Helen Jiao opened up the match dominating their doubles match against Iva Zelic and Raphaelle LeBlanc, winning, 6-0. Emilee Astle and Leah Heimuli clinched the doubles point for the Cougars, defeating Rimona Rouf and Neli Sunjic, 6-3. Madeline Almeida Wanlass made her return after missing the last three weeks, competing with Qianxin Kong in the No. 3 doubles slot. Wanlaass and Kong led 5-4, but their contest went unfinished.

Kong gave BYU its second point of the match in a 6-1, 6-4 win over Lela Daszuta. Heimuli followed, picking up her second win of the day over Sunjic, 6-1, 6-3. Battling in the No. 4 spot, Jiao won the third singles match of the day for the Cougars, defeating Marija Elenova, 6-4, 6-0. Now 10-3 on the season, Jiao is currently riding a six-match win streak.

Abramyan won her fourth consecutive match, beating Zelic, 6-4, 6-0. Wanlass bounced back nicely from time off with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Angela Schuster. With the win, Wanlass extends her perfect record to a stellar 6-0 on the season. Astle then completed the sweep for the Cougars as she defeated Emily Soares, 7-5, 7-5.

The Cougars will welcome Utah State to Provo Saturday, with an 11 a.m. MDT start time. Live stats will be provided, and a live stream will also be available should the match be played indoors.

As a reminder, until further notice, only family members are allowed to attend home matches. Family members will need to be on a pre-existing list and provide photo ID in order to attend.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!