IRVINE -- For the first time since Feb. 22, 1991, the third-ranked BYU men's volleyball team dropped a five-game match at the hands of UC Irvine, 12-15, 15-12, 9-15, 15-12, 13-15, ending a streak of 17 straight victories. The loss drops the Cougars to 14-6, 11-6 on the season, while UCI improves to 7-11, 4-9.
Senior setter Chris Pitzak tallied 81 assists on the night for BYU, overtaking All-American Hector Lebron for second place on the BYU all-time assist list. Pitzak has posted 3,265 career assists and trails only Jason Watson, who holds the career assist record at BYU with 4,649.
Mike Wall notched 33 kills in the Cougar loss, marking the third 30-plus performance in the past four matches. Wall hit .356 on the night, while Mac Wilson led the Cougars with a .440 average, connecting on 15-of-25 attempts with just four errors. Joaquin Acosta added 20 kills, nine digs and six blocks for BYU, while Brad Goldston collected 12 digs and Matt Olsen posted a team-high eight blocks.
The Anteaters pulled out to a 2-1 match lead after taking game three, 15-9. However the Cougars took advantage of crucial UCI mistakes to take game four, 15-12. In the fifth and final game, BYU hit just five-of 14 with three errors(.143) as the Anteaters pulled off the upset win, 15-13, in rally-scoring.
The Cougars return to the Smith Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 8, looking to extend their Smith Fieldhouse win streak. Due to concessions made with the intramural office to accommodate an earlier match, the Cougars will take on Ball State at 3 p.m. (MST). The Cougars have won 38 straight in the Fieldhouse, dating back to the 1997 season.