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BYU Roundup: Cougar men’s volleyball outlasts Grand Canyon

By The Daily Herald - | Feb 21, 2021

Zach Eschenberg had a career high 16 kills and hit .361 as the top-ranked BYU men’s volleyball team rallied to beat Grand Canyon, 3-2 (25-27, 28-26, 23-25, 25-23, 15-11), to win the second of four matches against the Lopes on Saturday.

Eschenberg also tallied five digs and two blocks. Davide Gardini added a season-high 15 kills while also leading the team in digs (eight) and blocks (five). Gabi Garcia Fernandez ended the match with 14 kills and a season-high four aces to go with seven digs and three blocks. Will Stanley finished with five kills on a .833 hitting percentage with four digs, three blocks and team-high 51 assists. 

Junior middle blocker Brandon Oberender came off the bench after an injury to Felipe de Brito Ferreira and contributed two aces, three blocks and a kill. His plays were momentum builders during tight points.

“I thought he did an outstanding job to be honest.” Said head coach Shawn Olmstead on Oberender “We’ve got total confidence and faith in ‘B.O.’ he’s done great things for our team. Brandon came in and picked things up right where we left off. I thought he did a remarkable job.”

BYU (5-1) held Grand Canyon (1-3) to a hitting percentage of .293, finishing with 31 digs and 11 blocks. Both teams ended the night with 60 kills and each of the first four sets were decided by just two points.

BYU baseball earns splits in season opener

SAN MARCOS, Texas — BYU baseball split a doubleheader with Texas State on Saturday in the season opener for both teams. After a ninth inning rally came up just short in a 5-4 game one loss, the Cougars bounced back in the nightcap with a 9-4 victory.

“We came out a little tentative in Game 1 and threw the ball around a little bit,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “Unfortunately it ended up hurting us in the end. Cy (Nielson) didn’t have great stuff today, but Easton (Walker) came in and was real sharp and gave us a chance to win.”

The Cougars will be back at Bobcat Ballpark to face Texas State in game three of the four-game series on Monday, Feb. 22 at 4:02 p.m. CST. No television or radio broadcast is scheduled, but live stats will be available.

Softball finishes tournament with two wins

ST. GEORGE, Utah – BYU closed out the St. George Classic with a pair of wins against UVU (7-2) and Nevada (7-1) on Saturday afternoon.

“We played solid softball today,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “Arissa Paulson and Autumn Moffat-Korth both pitched excellent games. Our offense came alive with timely hits, stolen bases and home runs. It was a fun day to watch this team compete.”

BYU will next travel to the Arizona Tournament in Tuscon, Arizona from Feb. 25-17.

Pole vaulters lead BYU track efforts

Three BYU pole vaulters cracked the BYU track and field top 10 board at the BYU Cougar Indoor Invite on Saturday.

Junior Caleb Witsken cleared 5.52m/18-1.25, the fifth-best mark in school history, to take second place at the meet. Sophomore All-American Zach McWhorter won the event with a mark of 5.72m/18-9.25, nearly clearing 5.81m/19-0.5 in his final attempts. McWhorter currently ranks No. 2 in the NCAA (5.76m/18-10.75) and Witsken is now No. 6.

Freshman Hannah Richardson and junior Isabel Neal both moved up the BYU Top 10 list in the women’s pole vault. Richardson is now No. 8 with a clearance of 4.07m/13-4.25 while Isabel Neal is tied for No. 10 with a mark of 4.02m/13-2.25.

BYU track and field will wrap up the indoor regular season next week at the Husky Classic. The meet will take place Feb. 25-27 at the Dempsey Indoor Track Arena in Seattle, Washington.

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