The second-ranked BYU men’s volleyball team continued its hot streak on Thursday, sweeping USC 25-22, 25-18, 25-16 in the Smith Fieldhouse.

The Cougars (15-2 overall, 15-2 MPSF) have won 10 matches in a row, including nine by sweep, since losing in three sets at Grand Canyon on Feb. 25.

BYU hit .433 under the direction of Wil Stanley, who had 31 assists. Davide Gardini led the Cougars with 11 kills on 13 kills with just one error, hitting .769. Zach Eschenberg had nine kills in 13 swings with only one error (.615) and contributed four service aces.

Billy Fauntleroy paced USC (5-9, 5-9) with 16 kills and hit .407.

The same two teams will meet in the Fieldhouse on Friday at 7 p.m. MT. Seven Cougars seniors will be honored in their last regular season home match. BYU will host the MPSF Tournament beginning April 22.

Gabi Garcia Fernandez k

Nixon to direct player experience for BYU football

Head coach Kalani Sitake today named Billy Nixon as Executive Coordinator of Player Experience and Equipment Operations for BYU football.

“I am excited to announce Billy in this role directing our player experience initiatives and managing the equipment room,” Sitake said. “He will work closely with our players, helping mentor them not only during their experience here at BYU but also in the transition to their next steps after college. I feel Billy’s experience, background and training will help take us to new heights in these areas and be a catalyst to help set our program apart from others in college football.”

A Ph.D. in Sport Management: Athletic Administration and Leadership, Dr. Nixon will focus on the overall player experience for members of the football team while developing and supervising the policies, procedures and logistics related to equipment operations for the football program. He will oversee the design, delivery, evaluation and management of equipment, branding, and development experiences for NCAA Division I recruits, student-athletes, coaches, administrators, alumni and fans. He currently serves on the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) committee for the athletic department.

Santa Clara blanks BYU baseballSANTA CLARA, Calif. — A five-run second inning was all Santa Clara needed to take game one of a three game series 5-0 over BYU baseball on Thursday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium.

The Broncos score five runs on four hits and a Cougar error in the second inning that included a three-run home run to leftfield by junior third baseman Matt Jew.

“We obviously struggled on offense today and need to learn to be tougher at the plate,” said BYU coach Mike Littlewood. “I thought their starter Nick Santo was effective. He competed his tail off tonight, so you have to tip your hat to him.”

BYU (8-14, 4-3) had runners on base in every inning after the fourth but could not come up with timely hits to drive in runs. Santa Clara (10-14, 3-4) starter Nick Sando got the win, while reliver Alex Reelfs got the save. The pair scattered just four singles over nine innings to Cougars Bryan Call, Mitch McIntyre, Joshua Cowden and Peyton Cole.

The Cougars got solid relief pitching from Mabeus (1.1), Heaton (1.2) and Zimmerman (1.0), who combined for four innings of no-hit baseball, retiring 12 of the 13 Bronco hitters they faced.

BYU is back in action at Stephen Schott Stadium on Friday, at 3:00 p.m. PDT for game two of the series with the Broncos. The game will be broadcast live on WCC Network, as well as the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio FM 107.7, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app.

Softball upsets No. 25

Baylor 4-1

Autumn Moffat-Korth scattered five hits and struck out four, shutting down No. 25 Baylor in a 4-1 victory on Thursday at Gail Miller Field in Provo.

BYU led 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth when Huntyr Ava ripped a two-run homer for a 4-0 advantage. In the top of the seventh, Aliyah Binford singled in a run to close to 4-1. The tying run came to the plate with two outs but Moffat-Korth struck out Hannah Thompson to end the game.

The Cougars and the Bears will play a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 1 p.m. MT.

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

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