No. 1 BYU Upends No. 6 UC Irvine 3-1
Irvine, Calif. - The No. 1 BYU men's volleyball team's senior contingent continues to lead the team as three seniors recorded double-doubles in a 3-1 win (28-30, 30-22, 30-24, 30-26) at UC Irvine Saturday to remain undefeated on the year. With the win the Cougars improve to 11-0 on the year and 6-0 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play, and the Anteaters fall to 8-8 and 5-6.
Outside Hitter Ivan Perez led the attack with 22 kills and 10 digs. All-American middle blocker Russell Holmes held down the defensive front with 10 blocks and 15 kills with a .524 hitting percentage. Opposite Jonathan Charette was also a major contributor as is per usual with 11 kills and 10 digs.
"Russell Holmes was outstanding for us tonight, especially from the service line," BYU head coach Shawn Patchell said. "We're scoring a lot of points with him serving. Jonathan Charette also served well tonight. And Reed Chilton came of the bench and set really well for us tonight on his birthday."
The first set saw a four-point lead at one point for the Cougars, but they could not hold on. The Anteaters took the lead at 27-26 and won the first set, 28-30, thanks in part to 12 total BYU errors.
The Cougar offense regrouped and matched the defensive production in the second set. As a team in the second set BYU hit almost double what it did in the first and held UCI to an attack percentage of 0.00 in the set. The Cougars knotted the match with a 30-22 second set win.
BYU's attack continued to improve in a 30-24 win in the third set. Three service aces and only one attack error propelled the team to the win with help from UCI's seven service errors in the set.
The Anteaters gave it their all in the fourth and final set, but did not have enough gas in the tank to outlast the top-ranked Cougars. UCI found few seems in the BYU block, and the Cougars ran away with the fourth set, 30-26.
Friday's match between No. 1 BYU and No. 6 UC Irvine was the longest in Cougar history, ending with a 28-26 BYU win in the fifth set. The Cougars now lead the series against the Anteaters 31-9 and 15-5 in Irvine. The Cougars are also 14-3 against the Anteaters since 2001.
Next on the docket for the unbeaten Cougars is a three-week home stand against MPSF opponents Stanford, Pacific, and Pepperdine. Stanford will come to Provo February 22-23 for two matches in the Smith Fieldhouse with start times at 7 p.m. MT.
Article courtesy of BYU athletics.