A record performance from opposite Jaylen Jasper almost led to a victory at one of the most challenging road environments in NCAA men’s volleyball.
Jasper led all players with a career-high 37 kills on a .443 attack percentage as No. 7/7 Pepperdine lost to No. 8/8 BYU 21-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-20, 15-11 on Friday in Provo, Utah, in front of 4,156 people in attendance.
This was the most kills for any NCAA player in a single match since 2018 when former CSUN opposite Arvis Greene Jr. had 40 kills. Jasper also tied the Pepperdine record for kills in a single match during the rally scoring era.
Jasper in the decisive game had five kills, including a kill to give the Waves an 8-7 lead. The Cougars, though, following that kill went on a 5-0 run that featured two attack errors from Jasper.
BYU (13-6, 3-4 MPSF) closed out the match with a walk-off ace from John Stanley to secure their third consecutive win and remain undefeated at home this season.
Setter Heath Hughes returning to the court for the first time in more than a month because of an injury guided the BYU offense to out-hit Pepperdine .283 to .254. In addition, the Cougars had more than .450 attack percentage in each of the final two games and did not commit an attack error in the fifth game.
Outside attacker Miks Ramanis led BYU with 18 kills on a .361 attack percentage. Opposite Luke Benson contributed 16 kills, while middle attacker Teon Taylor had six kills on a .625 attack percentage
Taylor defensively led all players with eight blocks that was highlighted with a solo block to cap off BYU’s 5-0 run midway through the fifth game. The sophomore entered this match second in the MPSF and third in the nation with a 1.29 blocks per game average.
Pepperdine libero Trey Cole in the loss finished with a match-high 16 digs.
BYU limited Pepperdine (14-9, 4-3 MPSF) to season-low zero aces in the opener of this two-match conference season
Besides Jasper, no other Pepperdine player had more than eight kills and no player hit more than .275.
Jasper at the start of this series was second in the country with 5.01 kills per game average. This 37-kill performance was the second match this season that Jasper had at least 30 kills and the 10th time with at least 20 kills.