No. 5 BYU men's volleyball swept rival No. 3 UCLA (25-23, 25-21, 25-20) on Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse to remain undefeated in conference play.
“This is exciting. I’m happy for our guys,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We came out playing with confidence and did a good job of limiting our errors and capitalizing on a few UCLA mistakes.”
Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the offense with 12 kills. Cyrus Fa'alogo had 11 kills and six digs, while Brenden Sander added 10 kills. Leo Durkin led the team with 37 assists, and Felipe de Brito Ferreira recorded four kills and six blocks. Defensively, Erik Sikes had 10 digs.
In the first set, the Cougars (14-4, 7-0 MPSF) scored the first point off a service error. UCLA (15-5, 4-2 MPSF) answered with a 4-1 run to take an early 4-2 lead. The two teams exchanged points throughout the majority of the beginning of the set with the Bruins never leading by more than two. A block by Fernandez, Sander and Miki Jauhiainen evened the score at 12-all.
A kill by Fernandez started BYU on a 3-0 run to take a 19-16 advantage. UCLA tied the game at 21-apiece off a block. A kill by Christian Rupert and an attack error by the Bruins gave BYU a 23-21 lead. At set point, Fernandez finished his attack to give BYU the set, 25-23.
UCLA earned the first point of set two before the Cougars went on a 3-0 run to take an early 3-1 advantage. Back-to-back points by BYU evened the score at 10-all. Neither team was able to put together more than two-consecutive points, keeping the set even.
A block by Fernandez and Ferreira was followed by a Fernandez kill to give the Cougars the 20-17 lead, forcing a timeout by the Bruins. A service error and an attack error by UCLA then gave BYU set two, 25-21.
In set three, the Cougars took an early 2-0 lead, but that was followed with three-consecutive points by the Bruins as they took a 3-2 advantage. A 3-0 run by BYU, that included kills by Ferreira and Sander, gave the Cougars a 13-10 lead.
A 4-0 BYU rally pushed the Cougars on top, 18-14. UCLA fought to put the set within two points at 19-17. A kill by Fa'alogo sent the Cougars to match point where a Sander kill gave BYU set three and the match, 25-20.
The Cougars travel to Honolulu, Hawai'i, next to compete in the Outrigger Resorts Invitational on March 8-10. The first match is against Penn State on Thursday, March 8, at 4 p.m. HST.