No. 2 USC Men's Volleyball Stages Dramatic Comeback Win Over No. 7 BYU In 5 Sets|
Feb. 12, 2015
After dropping the match's first two sets, the No. 2-ranked USC men's volleyball team staged a dramatic comeback behind a career-high 24 kills by Alex Slaught and 15 more kills off the bench by Larry Tuileta to defeat No. 7 BYU, 20-25, 21-25, 25-16, 25-23, 16-14, and take over sole possession of first place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation on Thursday (Feb. 12) in USC's Galen Center.
The victory snapped USC's 7-match losing streak to the Cougars. The Trojans improved to 9-1 overall and 8-1 in the MPSF, while BYU fell to 8-3 overall and dropped a match behind USC in the conference standings at 7-2. The teams play again on Friday (Feb. 13) at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center.
It was USC's third straight 5-set match of the year, after splitting a pair last week at Hawaii, and all 3 of those matches saw the fifth set go to extra points (both Hawaii matches were 20-18), a first in USC history.
USC beat BYU despite hitting just .209 and having the Cougars post 20.5 blocks. However, USC served 11 aces (BYU had none), including 4 each by Slaught and Robert Feathers. Slaught also had a career-high 12 digs, while Feathers had 9 kills and Micah Christenson had 11 digs. Tuileta hit .480.
For BYU, which hit .229 overall, Jake Langlois had 23 kills, 8 blocks and 8 digs, Josue Rivera added 11 kills while hitting .360 and added 5 blocks, Michael Hatch had 9 blocks and Joe Grosh had 8 blocks.
BYU went on a 5-0 run late in the first set to go up 22-17 and the Trojans couldn't make up the difference as the Cougars had 5.5 blocks in the set. In the second set, BYU scored 4 consecutive points to go up 9-4 and again the Trojans could not catch up as the Cougars added 4 more blocks in the set while hitting .333. USC jumped out to quick 4-1 lead in the third set, extended it to 12-6 and pulled further away late in the set while hitting .448. USC opened a 6-1 lead in the fourth set, but the Cougars slowly climbed back, using a 5-0 run to forge a 14-13 lead, and then the teams traded points before Troy went back up 22-21 on a Christenson block and soon after closed out the set on a Tuileta kill despite BYU's 7 blocks in the set. The final set was tight throughout and wasn't decided until a Tuileta kill followed by a Cougar hitting error ended the 2-and-a-half hour match.