Austin Rustand | Posted: 10 Feb 2023 | Updated: 4 Mar 2023

Cherfan and Moser lead No. 10 BYU to 3-1 win over No. 14 UC Santa Barbara

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BYU men's volleyball calebrate with Anthony Cherfan after his career-high 14 kills.

PROVO, Utah — Led by Anthony Cherfan’s career night, BYU men's volleyball took down the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-20) at the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday night.

After dropping the opening set in which the Cougars hit .185, the offense came alive recording 39 kills on a .333 hitting percetage to sweep the final three games. BYU tallied 14 blocks, 25 digs and four service aces in the win to improve to 7-2 on the year, extending its undefeated home streak to 5-0.

“For whatever reason, we came out trying to do a little too much," said BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. "We were making too many errors and trying to overdo things. I told the guys to even it out and that’s all they did. We just settled down and kept our composure."

Cherfan bested his career-high hitting percentage by nearly double as he recorded 14 kills on a .600 clip to lead the Cougars. Along with 14 kills, the California native tallied nine digs, three blocks and two service aces on the night.

"The whole key for me is competitive greatness and passion for the game," said Cherfan. "Our energy shifted in the second set and we started to trust each other more. I'm grateful to my teammates for making tonight happen."

Trent Moser matched Cherfan with 14 kills on 30 attempts, while also adding four blocks, three digs and the match-sealing service ace to his stat line.

Set 1

The Gauchos jumped out to a 5-2 advantage before a Santa Barbara error and a kill from Moser drew the Cougars within one, 5-4. UCSB maintained a two-point advantage at the media timeout, 15-13.

Out of the timeout, Santa Barbara went on a 3-1 run to extend the lead to 18-14 leading to the first BYU timeout of the set. Coming back from the timeout, Miks Ramanis and Moser notched back-to-back kills to draw within two, 18-16.

The Gauchos rattled off five of the next six points to take a 23-17 lead late in the opening set. After a UCSB error, Moser recorded back-to-back aces en route to four-straight BYU points to cut the deficit to two, 23-21. Rees Barnett’s sixth kill of the set closed out the first set 25-22 for Santa Barbara.

Set 2

After dropping set one, the Cougars exploded for five of the first six points to take an early 5-1 lead. Cherfan carded two kills while Ramanis and Moser each notched a kill during the BYU run. Following a Gauchos kill, two Cougar blocks and a Cherfan service ace extended the lead to 9-3 before UCSB called its first timeout of the set.

Three different Cougars registered a kill out of the Santa Barbara timeout before another BYU block gave BYU an eight-point lead, 14-6. Three-straight points from the Gauchos cut the lead to six, 18-12 leading to a BYU timeout.

Following the timeout, Ramanis put away back-to-back kills including a touch shot over a triple block to give the Cougars a 22-14 lead. The seventh kill of the match for Cherfan earned the Cougars set two to even the match.

Set 3

It was a back-and-forth set with 12 ties and eight lead changes, as both teams tried to get the lead in a pivotal set.

UCSB scored four of the first six to take a 4-2 lead. The Cougars responded with five of the next seven points with two kills from Moser to take a 7-6 lead. BYU and Santa Barbara traded points with the Cougars leading 15-14 after Moser’s 10th kill going into the media timeout.

With the Gauchos leading 17-16, the Cougars went on a 6-2 run to take a 22-19 lead with two kills from both Moser and Gavin Julien. UCSB climbed back to knot the game at 23 before back-to-back kills from Cherfan gave the Cougars set three, 25-23.

Set 4

BYU and UCSB traded points to begin the fourth set before a three-point Cougar run took the lead 6-4, with a Cherfan service ace. The Cougars maintained a three-point advantage with kills from Cherfan, Ramanis and Teon Taylor before the Gauchos cut the lead to two by the media timeout, 15-13.

The Cougars took three of the first four points out of the timeout to take an 18-14 lead courtesy of a Heath Hughes kill and a block from Ramanis and Taylor leading to a UCSB timeout. Another stuff at the net from Moser and Julien gave the Cougars a five-point advantage, 21-16.

The Gauchos would not go quietly as they took two-straight points to cut the lead to 23-20, but a service error gave BYU its first match point. Moser converted with a service ace to seal a 3-1 win over Santa Barbara.

The Cougars and Gauchos will be back in action at the Smith Fieldhouse tomorrow night for game two. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv beginning at 7 p.m. MST.

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