Lauren Bosco | Posted: 17 Feb 2023 | Updated: 13 Mar 2023

Cougars fall 3-0 to No. 2 UCLA in conference opener

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Cougars lose 3-0

LOS ANGELES — No. 8 BYU men’s volleyball fell 3-0 (20-25, 21-25, 18-25) against No. 2 UCLA in its conference opener at Pauley Pavilion Friday evening.

Tonight’s game marked BYU’s third loss of the season, with all losses against top-10 teams. UCLA (12-1) controlled the match with a .431 hitting percentage, holding BYU (8-3) to just a .226 hitting percentage, its second-lowest of the season. The Cougars were led by Kupono Browne who finished with nine kills and five digs.

Set One

Middle blocker Gavin Julien launched the game with back-to-back kills, to put BYU up 2-0. Neither team had a lead higher than two until the Cougars took off at 10-7, courtesy of a solo block by Julien, forcing a UCLA timeout. BYU then followed up with a 2-0 run, going up 12-7, its largest lead of the night, and forcing a second UCLA timeout. BYU kept hold of its lead, but took a breather when up by two at 16-14. 

The Bruins would play catch up at 16-16 after a kill by Ethan Chaplin. He would go on to lead all players with 11 kills in the match. UCLA gained control of the set at 18-17 from back-to-back aces by Guy Genius. The Cougars couldn’t seize back any momentum and fell 20-25 in the first set. 

UCLA hit a forceful .500, while BYU maintained a .389 hitting percentage. In his season debut as starting setter, sophomore Noa Haine totaled nine assists in the first frame. 

Set Two

The second set transpired in a like manner as the first, with BYU maintaining a steady lead in the beginning. BYU scored three points off of UCLA service errors, up 3-2 early in set two. UCLA would go on to have 19 service errors. BYU did not get its first kill of set two until Browne put the Cougars up 5-4. The Cougars forced a timeout at 9-5 after blocks by Julien and Moser. Browne earned his sixth kill, pushing BYU up 11-6. Then Teon Taylor notched his first kill of the night, upping BYU’s lead to 16-12.

UCLA inched its way to a tie at 19-19. The Cougars took a timeout when the score reached 22-20, down two. UCLA’s Alex Knight got a kill for the Bruins to go up 23-20. With a UCLA set point, Ramanis got a kill to keep BYU alive. But a Haine service error closed the set at 25-22.

The Bruins totaled 16 kills in set two, holding BYU to 10.

Set Three

The Cougars weren’t able to capture a lead at any point during set three. Haine got BYU’s first ace of the night, tying the set at 4-4. The energy in set three sparked for the Bruins when they went on a 3-0 run, up 12-9. Service errors and attack errors were a detrimental factor for the Cougars, with UCLA taking advantage off of each blunder. A BYU service error signaled a 25-18 win in set three for UCLA, finalizing the sweep for UCLA. 

The Cougars will face the Bruins once more tomorrow evening at 5 p.m. PST in the John Wooden Center, with live coverage on

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