No. 6 BYU falls to No. 14 UCSB in three sets
PROVO, Utah – No. 14 UC Santa Barbara upset No. 6 BYU men’s volleyball in three sets (25-23, 25-20, 27-25) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"I'm disappointed and so are the players," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "We had dug ourselves into some holes. We were able to score at the end, but we just didn't come out like that in the beginning. Major hats off to UC Santa Barbara. They came out swinging and they were prepared. Tonight, they were the better team, hands down."
Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Brenden Sander led the team with 12 kills apiece. Fernandez also had two aces, five digs and two block assists. Price Jarman added nine kills for the Cougars on a .615 clip.
In the first set, a Fernandez ace tied the score at 5-5 for BYU (5-4), however the Gauchos (4-3) went on a 5-1 run to go up 10-6. The Cougars then rallied back within three, down 20-17. A kill from UC Santa Barbara increased the advantage to four, 21-17. A kill from Jarman followed by an attack error from the Gauchos brought BYU within one, 22-21, but it wasn’t enough as the UC Santa Barbara took the first set 25-23.
The Gauchos opened the second set taking the first two points before the Cougars scored four straight to take a 4-2 edge. UC Santa Barbara answered back with three points of their own, but a kill from Fernandez evened the score 5-5. The Gauchos then went on a 4-1 run before BYU came back with a block from Miki Jauhiainen to help tie the score at 13-all. The Cougars came within two points again late, but UC Santa Barbara took the second set 25-20.
To begin the third set, the Gauchos took the first two points. However, the Cougars fought back and a service ace from Jauhiainen tied the set, 3-3. The two teams went back-and-forth until UC Santa Barbara went on a 3-0 run, pushing them ahead 12-8. BYU fought back with a kill from Leo Durkin bringing the Cougars within a point, 21-20. A Fernandez kill then tied the set at 21 apiece, forcing the Gauchos to call timeout. After the break, a Fernandez ace gave BYU its first lead of the set, 22-21. However, UC Santa Barbara took the third set and match 27-25 on the block.
The Cougars return to the Smith Fieldhouse Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. MST, for their second match against UC Santa Barbara The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv with live stats available on the schedule page.
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