Something changed for BYU after the first two sets on Friday night against Ball State in Provo.

Down 2 sets to 0, the adjustments made in the locker room, namely the insertion of Stanford transfer Kupono Browne, arguably made the difference in the Cougars’ ultimate 3-2 victory.

BYU coach Shawn Olmstead put Browne on the floor moments before the third set began.

“I didn’t even know I was going in until like five seconds before that set,” Browne said. “The one thing I wanted to do coming in was elicit the most energy I could get out of the guys on the court and really bring the game to them.”

Browne sparked a comeback that preserved his team’s perfect home record. The sophomore outside hitter ended the night with 11 kills and a night to remember.

The Cougars, riding a four-match win streak, welcomed Ball State to Provo in a matchup of nationally ranked teams. The Cougars held the slight edge in the rankings at No. 9, while an undefeated Cardinal squad sat at No. 10.

That advantage remained true on the court as BYU came back from a two-set deficit to get the win.

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The match marked the Cardinals’ first on the road. Before coming to Provo, Ball State had taken down top ranked Hawaii twice, but that didn’t seem to bother BYU, which welcomed star outside hitter Davide Gardini back to the lineup Friday following an ankle injury that sidelined him from the Cougars’ matches against the University of Mount Olive a week ago.

“That was a game time decision whether Davide was going to go or not,” Olmstead said.

The BYU coach was unsure if Gardini will be available for the Cougars’ next game after re-tweaking his ankle chasing a ball into the stands.

“Props to him that he gutted it out and still kept jumping,” Olmstead said.

The Cougars jumped out to an early advantage in the first set, pushing the lead to as many as nine points.

That’s when the Cardinals took over, tightening things up with a 10-1 run that evened the set at 23 apiece.

From there, BYU was unable to capitalize on five set point opportunities, ultimately falling 32-30.

The next set was not much better for the Cougars, whose last lead came at 2-3. Ball State remained in control the rest of the way, doing just enough to stay ahead of BYU.

The Cardinals won 25-20 and took a two-set cushion to the break.

The Cougars returned the favor in the third set, mirroring the score with a 25-20 win of their own.

Despite staying in charge for most of the set, BYU had a scare near the end when Ball State used a mini run to cut the lead to one before the Cougars scored six of the final eight points and picked up the victory.

“I think the big change was Kupono just being really really aggressive,” Olmstead said when asked about his team’s turnaround.

“That for sure got us a lot of energy. We were really aggressive from the right side, which opened the net up.”

Set four went back and forth with multiple lead changes. Propelled by two straight Jon Stanley aces, BYU jumped ahead at the right time, scoring five consecutive points to go up by four and reach set point.

Again, the Cougars scored six of the last eight points, this time to win by three and force a fifth set.

BYU carried its momentum into the final set, winning comfortably 15-10. After struggling to close out the first set, the Cougars played their best at the end of the final three sets.

BYU scored the last three points of the match and handed Ball State its first loss of the season.

With the win the Cougars remain undefeated at home but can expect a motivated Cardinal squad when the two teams meet again Saturday evening at Smith Fieldhouse.

That match is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.