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BYU Volleyball splits weekend matches with UC Irvine

FloSports: FloVolleyball NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Tenth-ranked BYU Volleyball split their back-to-back matches with third-ranked UC Irvine this weekend, winning on Friday night in four sets before falling on Saturday in four sets.

Friday night, UC Irvine won the first set by hitting .522 in an exceptional first set, winning 25-20. The Cougars would respond and dominate the second set, hitting .467, and winning 25-17. The Cougars would build on the set win, winning the third set in a thrilling extra points set, with the Cougars and Anteaters trading points late. A Davide Gardini kill, followed by a block by BYU, would win the set for the Cougars, 32-30.

The fourth set was a dominant performance from the Cougars, who hit .600 in the set and won 25-19. The Cougars were led once again by youngsters Gardini and Fernandez, who recorded 23 and 21 kills respectively. With Wil Stanley out with a sprained ankle, Cyrus Fa’alogo provided 46 assists as a setter.

The two teams met up again on Saturday night, and the Anteaters would beat the Cougars 3-1. The Cougars found themselves up late in the first set, but the Anteaters chipped away and eventually beat the Cougars 25-23.

The Cougars would respond in the second set, winning 25-19 as they dominated the Anteaters and hit .467 in the set.

But the Anteaters would take over again, winning the third and fourth sets by scores of 25-23 and 25-22.

The loss was the Cougars’ first home loss of the season, who are now 9-6 overall and 7-1 at home. The Cougars will play again on Thursday night at the Smith Fieldhouse, as they host MPSF rival UCLA.