No. 8/10 BYU avoids upset scare, rallies to beat Mount Olive

Photo courtesy of BYU athletics

Before the start of the season, a BYU fan in response to viewing the Cougars’ schedule posted on Twitter about having never heard of Mount Olive.

The Mount Olive men’s volleyball official Twitter account replied directly to that person tweeting it “will make some noise” during the upcoming season.

The Trojans backed up that tweet and came within points of pulling off the biggest upset in its program history.

No. 8/10 BYU overcame a 4-0 deficit in the decisive fifth game to avoid the upset and beat Mount Olive 24-26, 25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 15-12 on Thursday in Provo, Utah.

The Cougars out-hit the Trojans .402 to .223 in the opener of their two-match series. BYU finished with a match-best .583 attack percentage in its fourth-game loss and then hit .313 in the final game.


BYU also had three players finish with both double-digit kills and more than .300 attack percentage.

Outside attacker Miks Ramanis led all players with a career-high 23 kills on a .559 attack percentage, including three kills in the fifth game. Freshman opposite Anthony Cherfan had 12 kills, while outside attacker Luke Benson 10 kills and hit .348.

BYU played the majority of the match without Preseason All-American outside attacker Davide Gradini, who suffered an injury in the opening game.

Mount Olive Preseason All-American outside attacker Tobi Azeez finished with a team-high 17 kills.

This was the third consecutive match to open the season that Azeez had at least 15 kills. The outside attacker also entered the match fifth in the nation with a 4.11 kills per game average.

Along with Azeez, middle attacker Eric Visgitis had nine kills on a .400 attack percentage against the Cougars.

The Cougars overcame committing 28 service errors – seven more than the Trojans – to earn their third consecutive win.

Mount Olive, the preseason favorite to win the ConfCarolinas in the conference’s preseason poll, was attempting to win its first match in program history against a nationally ranked team.