No. 10 BYU secures second-straight 3-1 victory over No. 14 UC Santa Barbara
PROVO, Utah – No. 10 BYU men’s volleyball defeated No. 14 UC Santa Barbara 3-1 at the Smith Fieldhouse for the second-consecutive night.
Ramanis led the way for the Cougars (8-2) as he registered 19 kills on a .486 hitting percentage, his highest of the season. The sophomore also recorded two service aces, two blocks and five digs on the night.
Trent Moser was one kill short of matching his career-high as he recorded 15 kills in the 3-1 win. The freshman hit .333 while also adding four digs and a block for BYU.
“At the beginning of the season, no one saw us being a contender this year," said junior outside hitter Kupono Browne. "We have been working so hard in the practice gym to achieve our goals and that’s to hang another national championship banner in the Fieldhouse.”
The Cougars tallied 54 kills while outhitting the Gauchos .300-.260. BYU also carded 36 digs, four service aces and six blocks in the win.
BYU took an early 3-0 lead after a pair of team blocks and a kill by Ramanis. UCSB went on a quick 4-1 run to tie the score at four, but another string of three-straight points—including another team block and Ramanis' kill—put the Cougars back up by three.
The advantage would stay at three throughout the set, with BYU leading 18-15 down the stretch. An ace from Anthony Cherfan extended the lead to four at 21-17, but two consecutive BYU errors cut the lead to two, 21-19.
The Cougars responded with four straight points to take the set 25-19. Two of the four points were kills from Ramanis, with Moser adding one as well.
Ramanis had six kills in the first, with a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage. The Cougars hit .522 in the frame, with the Gauchos converting on a .286 clip.
UCSB took a 2-0 lead to start the second set, but BYU countered with a 6-0 run to lead 6-2. The Gauchos would chip away at the gap but never got closer than two at 11-9. The Cougars slowly expanded their lead to five, 18-13.
Cherfan finished with four kills in back-to-back sets, with his eighth kill of the match sealing the set for BYU, 25-20.
The Gauchos broke a 6-6 tie at the start of set three with a pair of kills and a block to go up 10-7. The visitors would continue to increase their lead with consecutive hitting errors from the Cougars putting UCSB up 22-17.
BYU was limited to single-digit kills for the only time in the match while also being held to a .030 hitting percentage. The Gauchos notched their match high, .440, on 13 kills with just two errors. The UCSB defense also added four blocks in the set.
BYU controlled the fourth set, with the Cougars opening up an early 4-1 lead. The Gauchos brought it back to 5-4, but three-consecutive kills from Moser quickly restored BYU’s advantage.
The lead became six at 12-6 when Kupono Browne, Gavin Julien and Ramanis combined for four-straight kills. The lead grew to eight after two more kills from Browne.
UCSB would not go quietly, stringing together three-straight points to cut into the lead. BYU responded with four-straight points, with Ramanis registering two kills and combining for a block with Julien.
The Gauchos survived two match points, but Ramanis once again led the way for the Cougars, landing his sixth kill of the set to secure the match, 25-17.
BYU next travels to California for two matches at UCLA on Friday and Saturday.
BYU men's volleyball freshman outside hitter Trent Moser has been added to the official travel roster for the 2023 FIVB…