The USC men’s volleyball team remains at home this week to host two conference matches against No. 6 Stanford and No. 10 Brigham Young at Galen Center.
USC (13-8, 4-4 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) moved up from No. 11 to No. 9 this week after beating top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Long Beach State in a major upset Saturday night. This marks USC’s highest ranking since the 2015 season.
Senior outside hitter Jack Wyett was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Week after an impressive showing against Long Beach State, hitting .579 to put up 13 kills, four digs, an ace and a block.
Wyett was also named the MPSF Offensive Player of the Week and senior outside hitter Gianluca Grasso was named the MPSF Defensive Player of the Week.
USC is 65-34 in the series against Stanford (14-8, 5-4 MPSF) but lost its last meeting in February 3-2. Sophomore opposite hitter Jaylen Jasper and senior outside hitter Jordan Ewert lead the Cardinal with 292 and 281 kills, respectively. Jasper has also served 18 aces this season. Defensively, redshirt senior libero Kyle Dagostino and junior middle blocker Stephen Moye lead with 159 digs and 70 blocks, respectively.
The Trojans lead 43-23 in their series against BYU (12-8, 6-3 MPSF) as well but lost 3-1 in their last matchup in February. Sophomore opposite hitter Gabi Garcia Fernande stands out on offense with 305 kills and 27 service aces in the books. He also leads the defense with 105 digs. Freshman outside hitter Davide Gardini has added 98 digs.
The Trojans are undefeated at home this season. Wyett and fellow senior outside hitter Ryan Moss lead the team in kills with 263 and 244, respectively. Grasso is a force on the end line with 17 service aces this season so far. Moss and sophomore middle blocker Sam Lewis have 42 and 44 blocks, respectively, and senior libero Matt Douglas leads with 116 digs.
Against such elite competition, Wyett said the Trojans will focus on efficiency in their two matches this weekend.
“Serving and passing is definitely a key element to our success, so if we can accomplish that throughout the match, I think we’ll be OK,” Wyett said.
Looking at how the Trojans have grown this season, Wyett said the team is stronger, more cohesive and having a lot more fun.
“When you get wins like this it definitely makes you stronger, and it makes you appreciate everyone else on the court that much more, knowing that they want you to win just as much as you want yourself to win,” Wyett said.
Although the Trojans have made huge strides this season and the win last weekend was “a great milestone,” Wyett said their end goal is to win a national championship.
The Trojans are back on their usual home court at Galen Center after playing two weeks in the North Gym due to scheduling conflicts. The Stanford game is set for 7 p.m. Friday and the Brigham Young game 7 p.m. Saturday. Both matches will be broadcasted on Pac-12 Networks.