Brigham Young University
Mar 01 | 08:00 PM
3 - 2
University of California, Irvine
Bren Events Center

Bren Events Center Irvine CA 92697

wweekes | Posted: 1 Mar 2013 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars complete comeback at #1 UC Irvine


IRVINE, Calif. – After trailing 2-0 in the match, the No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team won three-straight sets to capture a thrilling 3-2 victory over No. 1 UC Irvine (22-25, 24-26, 25-23, 25-23, 15-11) on the road Friday.

“I was proud of the way the entire team battled,” BYU head coach Chris McGown said. “I saw a side of our guys tonight that I don’t know if I’ve seen before. They’ve just become these warriors.”

The win snaps the Anteaters’ (15-4, 12-4 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) nation-leading 11-match win streak that started after UCI’s previous loss at BYU (12-3, 11-2 MPSF) on Jan. 18.

Freshman Ben Patch shined for the Cougars with a career-high 35 kills, also setting a new BYU kills record in the rally scoring era and a single-match kills record for this season in the MPSF. Patch led the squad with a .375 attack and added eight digs and five blocks.

Sophomore Josue Rivera joined Patch in double-digit kills with 12. Senior Russ Lavaja led BYU with eight blocks.

The Cougars edged out the Anteaters in hitting with a .241 clip to UCI’s .234. BYU recorded 63 kills to UCI’s 57 but the Anteaters took the block battle 17 – 14.

“It was not a tactically, beautiful match,” McGown said. “It was mostly grinding out and finding ways to score some points and hanging in there. We were down a bit and just kept sticking with it.”

In the decisive fifth set, BYU kept the momentum in its favor and took an early 4-1 lead behind kills from Rivera and Patch. The Cougars maintained the lead and never looked back as they moved in front 12-6. The Anteaters brought it within three, 14-11, but it wasn’t enough as the Cougars secured the 15-11 final, and match victory.

Patch started the Cougars off strong in the first set with three of BYU’s first four points. UCI capitalized on a Cougar error to take its first lead of the night, 13-12. The Anteaters continued the momentum and went on a 4-0 run until a kill by Rivera halted the effort. A BYU block put the Cougars within one before an extended rally ended in BYU’s favor tied the contest at 18. The teams exchanged points until the Anteaters pulled ahead and took the set 25-22. Patch had eight kills in the first set with a .462 attack to lead both teams.

After starting out on top 3-2, the Cougars surrendered six straight, including three services aces from Kevin Tille, for an 8-3 UCI lead. UCI remained in control and stretched its lead to 20-14.  BYU wouldn’t go down without a fight and pieced together its own run to move within one, 21-20. Down 23-21, kills from Patch and Lavaja tied the contest. With set point on the line for UCI, an attack error put BYU back in it but the Anteaters converted on their second set point to take a 2-0 match lead after the 26-24 set win.

BYU kicked off the third game in front 5-1 but UCI rallied for a 7-7 tie before flipping the score its way, 9-8. The Anteaters pulled ahead 14-8 before Patch ended the 6-0 run. After trailing 19-14, the Cougars cut the lead to one. BYU tied the set at 21 before going up 23-22 for its first lead since the initial points of the set. On their second set point, Patch closed out the set for the Cougars, 25-23. BYU recorded a match-best .448 clip in the set to force a fourth.

The teams traded points in the fourth for a 6-6 tie before the Anteaters grabbed an 11-8 control. UCI was unable to hold off the Cougars as BYU worked to create multiple ties and eventually took the 18-17 lead. After a tie at 22-22, a pair of attack errors by UCI positioned BYU with its first of two set points. The Cougars forced a fifth set after Rivera wrapped up the fourth with a kill for the 25-23 score.

BYU continues its stay on the road, taking on UC San Diego Saturday at 7 p.m. PST.

File Attachments

wweekes | Posted: 26 Feb 2013 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

#2 BYU back on road for matches with #1 UCI and UCSD


No. 2 BYU Cougars (11-3, 10-2 MPSF)
No. 1 UC Irvine Anteaters (14-3, 11-3 MPSF)
UC San Diego Tritons (6-11, 3-9 MPSF)

PROVO, Utah – Kicking off the second-half of its conference play, the No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team is back on the road for its second trip to California to take on No. 1 UC Irvine on Friday and UC San Diego on Saturday at 7 p.m. PST.

The Cougars, who hold the top spot in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings, are coming off home wins over then-No. 14 Pacific, 3-0, and then-No. 5 Stanford, 3-2. The win over the Cardinal snapped a six-match losing streak in the series. Freshman Ben Patch collected a career-high 26 kills while hitting .465. Junior Taylor Sander added 25 kills, seven blocks and three aces.

Patch hit a collective .441 for the week with 39 kills to garner MPSF and AVCA Player of the Week accolades.

Freshman Michael Hatch leads the MPSF in blocks with 1.62 per set. Senior Russ Lavaja is ranked third in the conference in hitting percentage with a .489 clip and holds the fourth-best blocks average with 1.33. After recording six service aces over the weekend, Sander is No. 4 in the conference in aces with a .39 average.

As a team, BYU is first in the MPSF in hitting percentage (.328), opponent hitting percentage (.242) and blocks (3.06).

UC Irvine
The defending national champions are riding an MPSF season-long win streak 10 matches with two decisions over Hawai’i early last week. Within the 10-match win streak, UCI has trailed in sets on five occasions. Collin Mehring hit .667 for the Hawai’i series (18-2-24), and tied a conference season-high .800 (13-1-15) on the first night.

The Anteaters look to avenge earlier losses against Cal Baptist and BYU this week. UCI has not dropped a match since the 3-1 loss to BYU at the Smith Fieldhouse Jan. 18.

Mehring has the best hitting percentage in the MPSF with a .547 clip while Michael Brinkley is averaging 2.40 digs to hold the No. 3 spot. UC Irvine ranks second in hitting percentage (.323) and kills (13.06) in the conference.

The Cougars own the series record with the Anteaters, 37-14. BYU is 16-7 when playing at UCI.

The Anteaters host Cal Baptist Wednesday before welcoming the Cougars to the Bren Events Center.

UC San Diego
Carl Eberts had 15 kills with a .300 attack at Hope International last Friday when the Tritons dropped a 3-0 match.

Chase Frishman is second in digs in the MPSF with 2.40 per set.

BYU has never lost a match to UCSD, leading the series 33-0. The Cougars previously topped the Tritons 3-0 in Provo Jan. 19.

The Tritons travel to Cal Baptist Friday before hosting BYU on Saturday at the RIMAC Arena in La Jolla, Calif.

Follow @BYUvolleyball on Twitter for match updates. Live stats will be provided for both matches at and Video streaming will be availabl for the match against UCSD with registration.

File Attachments