#2 BYU Men’s Volleyball beat UC Irvine in 4 sets (28-30, 27-25, 25-17, 27-25) on Friday night in the second match of their 2-game series.
BYU broke out to a 9-5 lead, but after a timeout UCI took a 12-11 lead over the Cougars. The Anteaters would lead by 2-3, and BYU would even things up. BYU finally took its lead back at 22-21 on a monster Gabi Garcia Fernandez service ace. A block by BYU on the next play would give them a two point lead, and a Zach Eschenberg back row attack would lead to a set point. UCI would tie things back up at 24, and would then take the lead 25-24, only for Felipe de Brito Ferreira to even things back up. A Davide Gardini service error gave the Anteaters a set point opportunity again, but Garcia Fernandez evened it up again. UCI would win the next point, only for Garcia Fernandez to tie it up yet again. An Eschenberg kill gave BYU it’s fourth set point, but a Will Stanley service error tied it up at 28, again. A UCI block gave them their fourth set point at 29-28, and the Anteaters followed it up with another block to win the set 30-28.
The Cougars missed a great opportunity to close out the set at 24-21, but allowed four straight points to the Anteaters to extend the set.
The second set was tight again throughout, and BYU had the chance to win on a set point at 24-23. Again UCI tied it up. BYU would then take the lead, but couldn’t win on the next point again. A service error by the Anteaters set up a third set point for the Cougars, which Garcia Fernandez finished with a powerful kill to give BYU the 27-25 set win.
BYU raced out to a quick 5-0 lead in the third set, but the Anteaters responded with a run of their own and scored three straight. BYU would then extend the lead to 11-5 before the Anteaters called a timeout. The rest of the set was all BYU, who would extend their lead to 11 at 18-7 and coast to a 25-17 set win.
The fourth set was tight all the way to the end, with the set tied at 20. BYU would win the next two points, but UCI responded and tied the set at 22. A service error gave BYU the 23-22 lead, but a BYU service error tied things up. A service ace on a BYU error gave UCI their first set point. BYU called a timeout, and would score on a UCI net violation on the first play out of the timeout. A second UCI net violation set up a match point for BYU, but a Garcia Fernandez attack landed out of bounds and tied things up at 25 again. A back row attack from Gardini set up BYU’s second match point at 26-25, and BYU would win 27-25 on the next play and complete the comeback.
The win moves BYU to 8-0 on the season, and 6-0 against ranked teams. BYU returns home to host UC Santa Barbara on Friday and Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse.