#2 BYU Men’s Volleyball surged past #5 UC Irvine in California Wednesday night in four sets (25-17, 20-25, 25-19, 25-15) as they improved to 7-0 on the season.
BYU was dominant in the first set against the Anteaters hitting .519 in the set and recording 3 service aces. Davide Gardini lead the Cougars with 5 kills. Gardini moved the Cougars to set point with a beautiful behind-the-head kill, with Felipe de Brito Ferreira’s kill two points later giving the Cougars a 25-17 set one win.
BYU struggled for much of the second set, but made things interesting down 19-23 after a run. BYU eventually dropped the set 20-25.
The third set was all BYU again, who won the set 25-19. The Cougars struggled to close out the set, although the result was never really in doubt. BYU hit below .300 in the second and third set, something that has been uncommon for the Cougars in recent games, especially after a .519 first set.
The fourth set was back and forth between UC Irvine and BYU, but a 8-0 run in the middle of the set gave BYU a comfortable gap on UC Irvine with the score at 17-10. BYU finished the set and match on a 16-5 run from being down 9-10, led by excellent hitting by Gabi Garcia Fernandez. BYU won the set 25-15.
Fernandez and Gardini were excellent on the night as usual, with Fernandez recording 19 kills with 3 aces on .517 hitting while Gardini had 16 kills and 2 aces himself.
BYU stays in California to face the Anteaters again in Irvine on Friday evening. The Cougars are 7-0 on the season, and are 21-3 in all sets thus far. The 7-0 start is BYU’s best since 2011, when the Cougars opened the season 8-0.