MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball swept Mount Olive (25-20, 25-23, 25-16) at Kornegay Arena on Saturday to remain undefeated on the season.
“Hats off to Mount Olive for their energy and fight today,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I was proud of our team’s resilience in the second set; it gave us an opportunity to grow.”
Davide Gardini recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 kills on a .591 clip and a season-high 10 digs while adding two blocks and a pair of aces. Gabi Garcia Fernandez also reached double figures in kills with 12 on a .400 hitting percentage along with two aces. Felipe de Brito Ferreira had a season-high eight kills on nine attempts (.889 clip) and led the team with four blocks.
BYU (6-0) ended the match with a .506 hitting percentage as a team, the first time the Cougars have hit over .500 since 2018. Out-blocking Mount Olive (4-3) 7-3, BYU has out-blocked its opponents in all six wins this season.
After nine ties and five lead changes early in the first set, a dump by Wil Stanley broke an 11-11 tie. Gardini recorded his fourth kill of the set and an ace to help BYU take a 22-17 lead over Mount Olive. Kills by de Brito Ferreira and Branden Oberender ended the game to give the Cougars the 25-20 win. BYU finished the set with 19 kills on a .621 hitting percentage.
After another competitive start, the Trojans pulled away from the Cougars to claim a five-point lead, 19-14, in Set 2. Aces by Jon Stanley and Garcia Fernandez helped BYU make it a one-point game, 21-20. A wall consisting of de Brito Ferreira, Gardini and Wil Stanley blocked a Mount Olive attack attempt to even the score at 21-all. The Trojans responded by scoring on consecutive possessions to retake a two-point lead. Two kills by Garcia Fernandez set up match point for the Cougars before a kill by Stanley completed the comeback, 25-23.
Kills by de Brito Ferreira, Garcia Fernandez and Gardini followed by back-to-back Cougar blocks led BYU on a 6-0 run to seize a 15-6 advantage in Set 3. The Cougars maintained control with kills by Miki Jauhiainen and Teilon-Jonathan Tufuga extending their lead to 21-14. Alex Ah Sue and Gardini both recorded an ace to win the set, 25-16, and clinch the sweep for BYU.
The Cougars will remain on the road with a pair of road matches against No. 7 UC Irvine in the Bren Events Center in Irvine, California. The two teams will first meet at 8 p.m. MT on Wednesday before playing again on at 8 p.m. MT on Friday.