IRVINE -- The third-ranked BYU men's volleyball team ended its two-match losing streak on Friday, knocking off UC Irvine, 15-13, 11-15, 15-2, 15-9. The win marks the Cougars' 14th win of the season against five losses, including an 11-5 mark in conference play, while the Anteaters drop to 6-11, 3-9 on the year.
The Cougars outlasted the Anteaters in game one, 15-13, while UCI rebounded to post an 15-11 victory in game two. The Cougars hit .471 as a team in game three, recording just two hitting errors, while the BYU defense held the Anteaters to a -.250 hitting percentage in game three. UCI recorded only five kills, while BYU forced 11 hitting errors en route to a dominating, 15-2, win. The Cougars racked up 14 kills with just two errors in game four to register their 17th straight win over the Anteaters. BYU has not lost to UC Irvine since Jan. 21, 1992, including nine straight wins in Irvine, Calif.
Joaquin Acosta led the Cougars with 20 kills, while Jaime Mayol and Scott Bunker recorded 16 and 14 kills, respectively. Brad Goldston led BYU with 11 digs, while Acosta added nine for the Cougar defense. Bunker chalked up a match-high eight blocks, while Mike Wall added six.
Setter Chris Pitzak recorded 65 assists, nine digs and five blocks for BYU. Pitzak needs just 25 more assists to take over second-place on the Cougars' all-time assist list. Currently, Pitzak has 3,119 career assists, while All-American Hector Lebron, who is redshirting the 2000 season, ranks second on the career assist list with 3,143 assists.
The Anteaters were led by outside hitter Ty Loomis, who laid down 24 kills and picked up a match-high 12 digs in the loss.
The Cougars will wrap up their four-day, four-match road trip on Saturday, playing the back half of a two-match series against UC Irvine at Crawford Gym, beginning at 3 p.m. (PST). BYU will return home on Wednesday, March 8 against Ball State in the Smith Fieldhouse. Match time is slated for 3 p.m. (MST).