No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball lost its first match of the season Friday, falling in three sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) to No. 9 UC Santa Barbara at Robertson Gymnasium.
“It was an uncharacteristic match from us in a lot of ways,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We made a lot of errors in all areas that took the wind out of us. We will have another chance tomorrow that we need to be prepared for.”
Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the Cougars with 13 kills, while Davide Gardini contributed a solid all-around stat line with two aces, five digs and five blocks in the loss.
The first set remained close early, but UCSB pulled away to a 17-14 lead thanks to four service aces. BYU rallied to tie the set up at 19-all thanks to kills from Garcia Fernandez and Gardini. BYU took a brief lead, 20-19, but a pair of errors allowed UCSB to gain momentum and take a 23-20 advantage. The Gauchos went on to win the first set, 25-22. Gardini had two kills, one ace, two digs and three block assists in the opening set.
Following another close start to the second set, UCSB got out to a 17-15 lead, thanks to a couple more aces and several service errors from the Cougars. Despite three quick kills from Garcia Fernandez, the Gauchos became the first team to win consecutive sets against the Cougars this year with a 25-22 win in the second set. The Gauchos held a 23-16 advantage in kills after two sets.5 comments on this story
Garcia Fernandez reached double-digit kills early in the third set, but the Gauchos once again established themselves with a 21-15 lead fueled by three-straight aces from Ryan Wilcox. Miki Jauhiainen then followed that up with three aces of his own to bring the Cougars within three, 23-20. UCSB’s Corey Chavers got his 17th kill of the night soon after, however, followed by a block to seal the three-set victory for the Gauchos, 25-20.
BYU gets another shot at the Gauchos on Saturday at 7 p.m. PST at Robertson Gymnasium. Links for live stats and streaming can be found on the schedule page.