PROVO — BYU men’s volleyball has been rolling throughout the season, but faced what was well considered its biggest test of the season on Thursday, taking on undefeated and No. 1-ranked Hawaii on the road.
The Cougars passed, with flying colors, to put it mildly.
In what could accurately be described as putting on a clinic, the Cougars swept the Rainbow Warriors in shocking fashion (25-15, 25-17, 25-20,) marking the first loss of the season for Hawaii while also breaking its 26-match home win streak.
The Cougars controlled the course of play early and often, setting out to 6-1 lead in the first set and never looking back en route to a big 10-point first set win.
Speaking of setting, Gabi Garcia Fernandez was on point from behind the service line all night, scoring eight service aces to go along with his match-high 13 kills on a .688 hitting percentage.
The second set went largely like the first, with BYU earning an early comfortable lead, and then cruising to the 25-17 set win. Playing strong in the second set was Zach Eschenberg, who ended the match with 10 kills on a .500 hitting percentage.
Playing strong throughout was again Davide Gardini, who scored 10 kills on a .750 clip.
As a team, the Cougars swung at a .603 percentage to just .250 for Hawaii and outblocked the Rainbow Warriors 6.5 to 2.5.
The third set saw Hawaii show more fight, before the Cougars broke away midway through to build a 17-12 lead, and ultimately maintain that lead up until finishing off the set 25-20.
With the win, BYU improves to 17-0 on the year while Hawaii drops to 14-1. The two teams will square off again on Friday night at 7 p.m. HAST with the match streamed live on https://bigwest.org/