Brigham Young University
Apr 05 | 08:00 PM
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University of California, Santa Barbara

Ocean Rd and El Colegio Rd Isla Vista CA 93106

wweekes | Posted: 5 Apr 2013 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars clinch MPSF regular season title on road


ISLA VISTA, Calif. – Clinching the MPSF regular season title, the No. 1 BYU men’s volleyball team topped No. 7 UC Santa Baraba in five sets (20-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 15-13) Friday.

The win extends BYU’s (20-3, 18-2 MPSF) win streak to 12 matches.

“I thought Santa Barbara played really well,” BYU head coach Chris McGown said. “They’ve got some really good players but we just held our composure.  It’s something we’ve learned to do and have become pretty good at. The guys are confident that we can battle through these tough situations even when we aren’t playing well.”

Freshman Ben Patch led the Cougars with 19 kills followed by junior Taylor Sander with 18. Sander added three aces and 11 digs for his third double-double of the season. Senior Ryan Boyce contributed 11 digs and 40 assists while freshman Michael Hatch had a match-high eight blocks.

BYU edged out the Gauchos (14-14, 10-12 MPSF) in blocks 16.5 - 16.0 but UCSB recorded a .199 attack while the Cougars hit a .187 clip.

After trailing 2-1 in the match, the Cougars fought back and forced a fifth set. In the final set both teams kept it within one until Sander gave BYU a three-point advantage, 8-5. A pair of UCSB kills tied the set at 9 and a fourth-straight point by the Gauchos gave the home team the lead. A UCSB kill moved the score to 13-11 but the Cougars bounced back to tie the score at 13-13 with an ace from Sander. A second ace by Sander followed by a UCSB attack error completed the comeback and secured the win in the final set for the match victory.

“We can do a nice job trusting in each other and sticking with things we know how to do and ultimately trusting that our good brand of volleyball will prevail,” McGown said.

After a tie at 2 apiece to start the first set, the Gauchos captured a two-point advantage and wouldn’t look back after extending their lead to 13-7. The Cougars answered with a 5-1 run to close the gap to two with kills from Sander and Patch. A UCSB attack error brought the Cougars within one, 16-15, but the Gauchos pulled ahead again by four with a pair of errors from BYU and a kill. Two Gauchos errors moved BYU closer, 22-20, but it wasn’t enough as UCSB closed out the set 25-20.

Set two started with a back-and-forth battle until BYU broke the trend with three straight kills from Sander and Patch for a 7-4 lead. BYU stayed on pace and pulled ahead 15-9 with a kill from Phil Fuchs. In front 20-14, the Cougars gave up a trio of points to shave their lead to three. A kill from Fuchs and a UCSB attack error gave BYU set point and the Cougars wrapped up the set 25-20.

The third set saw another close contest at the start with a string of tie scores until UCSB garnered momentum to take a 9-6 lead. The Gauchos worked their way to a five-point advantage. A kill by Sander dropped UCSB’s lead to 16-14 before the Gauchos pulled ahead, 20-15. The Cougars brought the score to 21-18 but UCSB finished out the set on a 4-0 run for a 25-18 victory.

After an early 3-1 UCSB lead to start the fourth, BYU flipped the score in its favor 5-3 and stayed in front until the Gauchos worked their way back to 9-9. Following the tie, the Cougars rattled off a 4-0 run to regain the lead, 13-9. A Patch kill extended BYU’s margin to five and the Cougars held on for a 19-14 cushion. Back-to-back Patch kills set up BYU with game point and Josue Rivera finalized the 25-21 fourth set win with a kill to force the thrilling fifth set.

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wweekes | Posted: 3 Apr 2013 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

No. 1 BYU travels to California


No. 1 BYU Cougars (19-3, 18-2 MPSF)
No. 7 UCSB Gauchos (14-12, 10-10 MPSF)
No. 3 UCLA Bruins (17-9, 13-7 MPSF)

PROVO, Utah – Holding the No. 1 national ranking for the fifth-straight week, the BYU men’s volleyball team heads to California for matches against No. 7 UC Santa Barbara Friday and No. 3 UCLA Saturday at 7 p.m. PDT both nights.

BYU’s five weeks atop the AVCA national poll are the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 since 2008 when the Cougars held the top spot for seven weeks (Jan. 8 – Feb. 19).

The win against USC last weekend secured the No. 1 MPSF tournament seed for BYU. The Cougars will have home-court advantage throughout the tournament. The March 30 clincher is the earliest the No. 1 seed has ever been penciled in during the rally-scoring era.

The Cougars are riding an 11-match win streak, dating back to Feb. 16. The run ties for the fifth-longest at BYU, last accomplished in 2010. BYU finished March with an 8-0 record for only the second time in history. The Cougars dropped just four sets during the month.

The team recorded a season-best .545 hitting percentage against then-No. 4 Pepperdine last weekend, the third-best attack during the rally-scoring era. Junior outside hitter Taylor Sander contributed to the accomplishment with a career-high .762 clip.

Freshman middle blocker Michael Hatch remains No. 1 in blocks in the MPSF with 1.46 per set. Senior setter Ryan Boyce is fourth in assists in the conference with a 10.68 average while Sander is fifth in points per set with 4.72.

As a team, the Cougars lead the MPSF in hitting percentage (.339), opponent hitting percentage (.233) and blocks (2.96).


UCSB evened up its conference record with a pair of wins at Hawai’i last week, also extending its win streak to seven matches. In the first match, Evan Licht had a double-double of 12 kills and 11 digs, while Austin Kingi served four aces. Licht added 18 kills at .433 on night two.

Chad Kingi is third in digs in the MPSF with a 2.52 average. Dylan Davis has the fourth-best hitting percentage with a .467 average and Jonah Seif is fifth in assists with 10.46 per set.

UCSB is second in opponent hitting percentage in conference, holding teams to a .241 clip.

BYU leads the overall series with UCSB 29-21 and came away with a 3-2 win in Provo Feb. 7. 

UCSB travels to Cal Baptist Wednesday before hosting BYU.


Junior outside hitter Gonzalo Quiroga is this week’s MPSF player of the week after hitting a combined .508 (34-4-59) over wins at UC San Diego and at then-No. 2 UC Irvine. His .667 attack in La Jolla, Calif., was a season high, while his 21 kills in Irvine, Calif., was his fifth 20-plus kill match of the year. Quioga averaged 5.29 points, 4.86 kills and 1.00 digs per set through the road trip.

Quiroga is second in service aces in the MPSF with .460 per set. Evan Mottram has the fourth-best digs average in conference with 2.29.

UCLA holds the No. 1 service aces average in the MPSF with 1.45 and has the second-best hitting percentage with .319 per set.

The Cougars captured the previous meeting with the Bruins, 3-0, Feb. 9 in Provo. UCLA owns the series record 29-24.

The Bruins host Cal Baptist Thursday before a Saturday matchup with the Cougars.

BYU’s match against UCSB will have live stats as well as audio. Video feed and live stats are available for the match against UCLA. You can also follow the team on Twitter @BYUvolleyball.