BYU volleyball: No. 2 Cougars host UCSB, UCLA in final home matches

By Rachel Hawks

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, March 25 2014 6:19 p.m. MDT

Back at No. 2 in the nation, BYU men’s volleyball hosts No. 5 UC Santa Barbara and No. 9 UCLA in its final regular-season home matches Friday and Saturday.

The Cougars (16-4, 16-2 MPSF) welcome the Gauchos (13-6, 12-6 MPSF) on Friday, with first serve at 7 p.m. MDT on BYUtv. Last season, BYU defeated the Gauchos, 3-2, on the road.

Saturday, the Cougars face UCLA (14-8, 11-7 MPSF) at 8 p.m. MDT on BYUtv. (Please note the match is an hour later than usual due to broadcast conflicts.) BYU last faced the Bruins in the championship match of the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament held at the Fieldhouse. The Cougars came away with a 3-2 victory.

Overall, BYU is 33-19 against UC Santa Barbara and 25-30 against UCLA. This is the first time the Cougars have met either the Gauchos or the Bruins this season.

BYU is led by outside hitter Taylor Sander, who holds the Cougar rally-scoring era career kills record with 1,563 and the all-time BYU service ace record with 160. Sander is second in the nation in kills per set this season with a 4.59 average.

Sander is helped out by setter Tyler Heap’s 10.78 assists per set. On defense, Michael Hatch leads with 1.49 blocks per set, good for No. 3 nationally, and Jaylen Reyes contributes 1.79 digs per set.

Evan Licht leads UC Santa Barbara with 3.0 kills per set, helped out by Jonah Seif’s 10.39 assists per set. Chad Kingi averages 2.19 digs per set.

Robart Page leads UCLA with 4.05 kills per set, hitting .290. Hagen Smith contributes 8.33 assists per set, while Spencer Rowe averages 1.03 blocks per set to lead the Bruins.

Both teams face Cal Baptist prior to their trips to Provo.

Links to live video and audio streaming and live stats can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.

Rachel Hawks is the men's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.

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