Series to watch: 4th-ranked ‘Bows to face 3rd-ranked BYU in Provo

Stijn van Tilburg // Hawai'i Athletics

In a battle of two of the hottest teams in collegiate men’s volleyball, the University of Hawai’i and Brigham Young will face off in a two-match Mountain Pacific Sports Federation series this week in Provo, Utah. The teams will play Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18 at Smith Fieldhouse with both matches starting at 7:00 p.m. MT (3:00 p.m. HT).

The fourth-ranked Rainbow Warriors (20-2, 10-2 MPSF) are riding a 15-match win streak while the third-ranked Cougars (17-2, 11-2) have won their last 11 contests. UH takes its 32-set win streak and 10-match MPSF win streak into this week’s series. Ironically, it was the Warriors who derailed BYU’s 35-set win streak last season in a four-set loss in Honolulu. BYU swept the series and have won 11 of the last 13 match-ups.

“The camaraderie is something we’ve talked about the entire season, where guys are really rooting for everyone. It doesn’t matter who’s on the court. We just want each other to do well,” said senior setter Jennings Franciskovic. “It’s something we’ve kind of coined for ourselves is we’re a band of brothers. I really think this team is the closest one I’ve ever been on. I can look to every single guy and be like, “Yeah, he’s got my back no matter what, and I got their back.'”

The Cougars have played the last eight matches without their top attacker, Ben Patch, who is nursing an injury. BYU leads the all-time series 38-19 and have won the last 13 matches played between the schools in Smith Fieldhouse dating back to 2005. In fact, UH has only three wins in 26 all-time meetings in Provo, the last occurring in 2003.

With series sweeps last weekend, Hawai’i and BYU each secured playoff berths into next month’s MPSF Tournament. BYU is currently in second place in the league standings at 11-1, two wins behind LBSU, who just took over the No. 1 spot in the AVCA poll this week, while UH is in third place at 10-2.

UH Match Notes  |  BYU Match Notes

Matches #23 & #24
Who: No. 4 Hawai’i (20-2, 10-2 MPSF) vs. No. 3 BYU (17-2, 11-1 MPSF)
When: Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18
Time: 7:00 p.m. MT (3:00 p.m. HT) both matches
Where: Smith Fieldhouse; Provo, Utah
Television Coverage: BYUtv (Oceanic Ch. 409 and Hawaiian Telcom Ch. 68/HD 1068) will broadcast both matches with Jarom Jordan (play-by-play), Stevel Vail (analyst), Lauren Francom (sideline).
Radio Coverage: None
Streaming Video: BYUtv.org
Audio Webcast: BYURadio.org
Live Stats: BYUCougars.com
Series History: BYU leads 38-19

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