USC Men's Volleyball Ends 2016 Season With 3-Set Loss At BYU

    Alex Slaught
    April 9, 2016

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    The USC men’s volleyball team concluded its 2016 season by falling in 3 sets to No. 1-ranked BYU for the second consecutive night, this time by a score of 25-16, 25-12, 25-17 on Saturday (April 9) in Provo in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation finale for both teams.

    On Friday (April 8), the host Cougars beat the Trojans, 25-15, 25-13, 25-15.

    In a rebuilding season under first-year head coach Jeff Nygaard, USC finished 2016 with a 7-19 overall record and 5-17 in the MPSF. It was the Trojans’ most overall losses and its fewest league wins since 2005. The Trojans’ 11th place league finish prevented them from appearing in the upcoming 8-team MPSF Tournament.

    BYU improved to 23-3 on the season and finished atop the MPSF with an 18-3 mark, making the Cougars the top seed in next week’s MPSF tourney.

    Alex Slaught had 6 kills for USC, while Ryan Moss had 5 kills off the bench and Tommy Leonard had 4 kills and 3 blocks. It was the final career match for USC seniors Slaught, Leonard, Josh Kirchner and Brooks Varni.

    For BYU, Brenden Sander had 8 kills while hitting .462, Price Jarman had 7 kills (hitting .667) with 6 blocks and Ben Patch also had 7 kills (hitting .417).

    BYU hit .441 and had 11.0 blocks and 20 digs, while the Trojans hit a season-low .016 and also had just 3.5 blocks and 13 digs.

    In the first set, BYU scored 4 straight points to go up 8-5 and built on the lead the rest of the way while getting 6 blocks as USC hit just .043. An early 5-0 run gave the Cougars an 11-5 edge in the second set and they pulled away as the Trojans hit -.150 while BYU hit .667 with 4 more blocks. BYU got 3 consecutive points to forge a 12-8 lead in the final set and was never threatened while hitting .500.