Junior Robb Stowell led all players with 20 kills in BYU's 3-1 victory over the UCLA Bruins.
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PROVO -- Junior Robb Stowell led all players with 20 kills and five digs as the No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball team improved to 3-0 at home after defeating No. 5 UCLA 3-1 (25-17, 14-25, 25-23, 25-21) Friday in the Smith Fieldhouse.
With an 18-17 lead, Stowell scored four of the Cougars’ next eight points and Junior Otavio Souza posted two key blocks to give BYU its 25-21 victory in the decisive game four.
“Our team has done a really nice job of competing hard in every match, but there’s something special with UCLA,” said BYU interim head coach Rob Nielson. “They’re big, they’re athletic and we feel good about playing hard against those guys.”
Freshman Taylor Sander led the Cougars in game one, recording a service ace, one kill and two blocks to give BYU an early 7-1 advantage. The Cougars recorded 3.5 team blocks during that stretch.
The Cougars (8-2, 5-2) would go on to hit at a .450 clip, while hold the Bruins to a .172 hitting percentage to win the first set 25-17.
After a back-and-forth start to game two, the Bruins pulled away behind five service aces and captured a 25-14 victory to even the match at one game apiece. Stowell led BYU’s attack in game two, recording four kills.
Stowell led a strong comeback in game three, recording two early kills to give BYU the 5-2 lead. Stowell finished the set with five kills and the Cougars held off a late-game charge from the Bruins to capture a 25-23 victory and a 2-1 game advantage. Senior Alex DaPron posted four digs and junior libero BJ Haipo added three for the BYU defense in game three.
After falling behind 6-1 in set four, the Cougars rallied to pull within one at 14-15 and take a 17-16 lead after an Otavio Souza solo block brought the Fieldhouse faithful to their feet. The Cougars would rally with an 8-5 run to capture their eighth victory of the season.
The Cougars recorded a .295 attacking percentage compared to UCLA's .260 while also adding four service aces, 33 digs and two solo blocks from both Souza and Futi Tavana.
The two teams face off again Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.