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BYU Volleyball Sweeps No. 7 Ohio State In Season Opener

PROVO, Utah – The No. 5 BYU men’s volleyball team knocked off No. 7 Ohio State in three sets (25-20, 25-23, 27-25) to open the season.

Sophomore Gabi Garcia Fernandez had 15 kills, 6 digs, 2 aces and 2 blocks, freshman Davide Gardini added 13 kills, 4 digs, 1 ace and 1 block. Setter Wil Stanley chipped in 30 assists and libero Zach Hendrickson recorded six digs while the cougars averaged a .325 hitting percentage.

“Starting off the season this way against a program like Ohio State was really good,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “There is a lot of energy and a great vibe right now coming off the women’s season and the fans have been phenomenal. I really feel like we’ve got a great volleyball community – we’ve kind of built that into this volleyball school. We can’t thank the fans enough for coming out on a Thursday night at the home opener to welcome these boys back onto the court.”

BYU started the first set on a 4-0 run and Gardini had back-to-back kills to extend put the Cougars up 8-4. A kill by Fernandez, a triple block by Gardini lifted BYU to a 25-20 victory in the first set.

Ohio State had the first lead of the second set off of a kill. But the Cougars quickly regained the advantage, with another kill by Fa’alogo to lead 5-2. Fernandez claimed the second Cougar ace of the match increasing the lead to 9-7. The Buckeyes came within one point but BYU maintained the lead and took the set 25-23.

Tied at 2-2, swings by Fernandez, Felipe De Brito Ferreira and Gardini gave BYU four kills, giving them a slim 6-5 edge. Ohio State took a three-point lead, 14-11, that they maintained until back-to-back kills and an ace by Gardini gave BYU the advantage, 18-17. Ohio State battled for the set, but a kill by Gardini sealed the set and the math for BYU, 27-25.

The Cougars will face Ball State on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse, the game will be live broadcast on