The No. 13 Lewis University Men’s Volleyball team came from down 2-0 to defeat No. 2 Brigham Young 3-2 (21-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-18, 15-9) at Smith Fieldhouse for the first time in program history.
The Flyers, snapping an 0-12 record against BYU, improve to 1-2 on the season while the Cougars move to 2-1.
“This was a great team win,” Lewis head men’s volleyball coach Dan Friend said. “After last weekend, we put in a lot of work on areas that we struggled in and built team chemistry.
“It was good to see the team has matured in such a short time to get this win.”
Redshirt sophomore Geoff Powell (Claremont, Calif./Claremont) was a big key to the Flyers victory. Powell hit a career-high .767 with 24 kills on 30 attempts for the Flyers with his only error of the match game in the fifth set.
“As a coach, Geoff was fun to watch,” Friend said. “He was in a groove tonight and BJ kept finding him late in the match to put us in position to win."
In the opening set, Lewis was able to take a 12-9 lead, capitalizing on a BYU attack error by Ben Patch. The squads forced six ties before the Cougars were able to mount a late 5-1 run to take the set, 25-21, on two kills, one ace and two Lewis errors.
The Cougars came out hot in the second stanza, as the Flyers were only able to get within a point at 17-16, on a BYU attack error. BYU would close out the set on an 8-3 run to win 25-19.
Re-energized in the third set, setter BJ Boldog (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) kept feeding Powell, who tallied six of the Flyers 12 kills that set. The Flyers were able to push their lead to five, on a block by Boldog and Yiwei Zhou (Nanjing, China/Nanjing No. 1). Lewis hit .647 getting 12 kills on 17 attempts, with only one attack error, to take the third set 25-20.
Zhou tied his career-high six block assists to lead the Flyers. Boldog tallied 47 assists and five blocks.
After exchanging seven ties, the Flyers were able to hold a three-point cushion in the fourth set on a Powell kill at 12-9. With Lewis up 17-12, the Flyers were able to stifle any chance of a come back by the Cougars to win the set 25-18 on back-to-back kills by Powell.
BYU called two time outs in the fifth set to ice fifth-year senior Jay Petty (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North), but to no avail. The Flyers went up 13-8 on a kill and block each by Bobby Walsh (Chicago, Ill./Mount Carmel), Eric Fitterer (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville), and Powell. Hot-hitter of the match Powell registered the kill to win the set 15-9 and match.
Patch led the Cougars with 16 kills and four blocks while Taylor Sander added 14 kills and six blocks. Ryan Boyce registered 43 assists for BYU.
Lewis and BYU will battle again on Saturday (Jan. 12) at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah, with first serve at 7 PM MT.
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.
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