The No. 14 USC men’s volleyball team lost a close contest in four sets to No. 7 BYU Saturday.Senior outside hitter Ryan Moss has recorded 247 kills in his time at USC. He ranks second in that statistic for the Trojans. Photo by Alex Zhang | Daily TrojanAfter a strong win over Stanford last Thursday for their fourth win of the season, USC looked to continue their momentum against the visiting Cougars. However, the task would prove to be difficult against a resilient and well-balanced BYU squad. The Cougars boast an impressive resume this year with an 8-4 record, including wins over No. 8 Lewis, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 13 UC Santa Barbara. The dynamic opposite-outside hitting duo of freshman Gabi Garcia Fernandez and senior Brenden Sander led the Cougars in a game with very little room for error, as USC managed to stay within two points in every lost set. Sander recorded career-highs of 23 kills and five service aces while hitting .372. Fernandez clipped .441 with 18 kills, while senior setter Leo Durkin had a season-high 54 assists along with eight digs. Senior libero Erik Sikes contributed nine digs and two assists, and senior middle blocker Price Jarman had four blocks.For USC, the game simply slipped out of their hands. The Trojans had multiple opportunities to seal the deal and win a set, but a few service errors and clutch kills from Sander proved to be the difference. USC posted scorelines of 21-19, 17-12, 23-23 and 25-25 before falling in all but the second set. USC’s trio of junior outside hitters Jack Wyett, Ryan Moss and Gianluca Grasso once again led the team in the narrow defeat. Wyett had a balanced game with 12 kills, one ace and six digs. Moss had a team-high with 16 kills, along with one ace and one assist. Grasso contributed nine kills, three aces and five digs. USC was badly out-hit by BYU, which as a team clipped .372 compared to USC’s .321. USC’s season continues to look murkier by the day, with no apparent end to the constant losing cycles that have defined their season. With their brutal schedule, the Trojans will likely drop out of the AVCA top 15, with all eight of their losses being to ranked schools. Four of their next five games are opposing ranked teams — No. 2 UCLA, No. 11 Pepperdine, No. 10 Grand Canyon and No. 13 UC Santa Barbara. It isn’t a stretch to say that these next few games could make or break the Trojans’ year, and perhaps even head coach Jeff Nygaard’s job. Needless to say, it is imperative that Nygaard keeps morale up and lights a fire under his unit in whatever way possible before it is too late. The team will now travel to Westwood to take on the No. 2 UCLA Bruins in an MPSF match scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m.
You’ll accept baseball with the DH in both leagues. You’ll accept it with a 20-second pitch clock. You’ll accept it with batter limits for pitchers. You’ll accept it pretty much no matter what. Because baseball has always evolved, and you’ve always adapted.MORE: 19 reasons why baseball will be great in 2019Don’t think I’m talking down here. I’ve been skeptical of changes in the past, but I’ve always moved on. Just like you. Just like almost all fans.To pretend the game has stayed unchanged in any significant way over the decades is to romanticize things to the point of revisionist history. You were a fan when there were 26 (or fewer) teams and four divisions. You were a fan when there were 30 teams and six divisions. You were a fan during the Steroid Era. You’re a fan after. You were a fan when the All-Star Game was an exhibition. You’ve been a fan when it’s not. You were a fan with one wild-card team. You’re a fan with two. You were a fan before replay. You’re a fan after.Because baseball has always evolved, and you’ve always adapted.True, the game’s evolution has sometimes irked you, and sometimes even made you outright mad, but you’ve always gotten over it. This isn’t an endorsement of any proposal (though I am pro-DH). It’s just to say that, if you’re a baseball fan, you’re probably more willing to forgive and accept than you realize. Nothing will change now, no matter which proposal gains approval. You’ll get over it because you’re first and foremost a baseball fan, and the essence of the sport has never changed: Pitch the ball, hit the ball, try to score runs. The beauty of baseball isn’t in rules or technicalities. The beauty of the game isn’t in pitchers hitting, or the time between pitches, or in the distance between the pitcher’s mound and home plate. The beauty is in the game itself: the liner off the bat, the diving catch, the runner crossing the plate.There will still be dominant pitchers if the mound moves back a few inches. There will still be late-inning drama if a reliever is forced to face three at least three batters. You’ll still enjoy watching your team hit, even if one of the hitters isn’t a pitcher. FOSTER: It’s time for the DH in the NL | GATTO: Every NL team has DH optionsWhen changes come, the initial complaints are loud but the noise eventually goes away and we’re left with a simple idea: That’s just baseball. Because baseball has always evolved, and you’ve always adapted.The noise has come many times throughout baseball history.”I’ll never watch another game!””I won’t enjoy this!””I won’t spend another dollar.”Guess what: You watched another game, you enjoyed it and you spent another dollar. So with or without a universal DH, with or without the mound at 60 feet 6 inches, with or without a pitch clock, and — dare I say — with or without a runner at second base to start extra innings, you’ll still watch and you’ll still enjoy it. It’s what baseball fans do.Because baseball has always evolved, and you’ve always adapted. Baseball is evolving. You’ll get over it. That’s the blunt way to say that none of the proposed rule changes — either from owners or players — would keep fans from watching and enjoying baseball. I know you think they will, but they won’t. Sure, you’ll complain and tweet, but nothing will ultimately change. You’ll still be the same fan you were last season and season before that and the season before that.