(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
GOLETA, Calif. – Jake Langlois and No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball rallied past UC Santa Barbara in four sets (24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 25-15) Thursday night at Robertson Gymnasium.
“I'm proud of the way we stayed composed throughout the match after losing that first set,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We put a tremendous amount of pressure on UC Santa Barbara from the service line and that helped our defense get some good touches. Our pin hitters did a great job offensively for us tonight.”
Langlois led the Cougars with 13 kills with a .500 clip to go along with three aces. Leo Durkin set the team with 41 assists while Erik Sikes contributed five digs. Joseph Grosh, Price Jarman and Brenden Sander each had five blocks. Jarman and Sander each collected nine and eight kills, respectively. Additionally, Sander's four aces tied his career high.
As a team, the Cougars (22-3, 15-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) collected 13 aces – most of the season and third-most all-time in BYU rally-scoring era history.
Langlois got things started off for BYU in the first set with an ace. The Cougars led by as many as four early, but UC Santa Barbara (10-15, 5-12 MPSF) kept things competitive, evening the score at 12-all following an ace. A Grosh kill maintained the BYU advantage at 18-16, and a Langlois kill gave the Cougars set point at 24-21. The Gauchos scored four-straight points, however, to claim their first set point. A final UC Santa Barbara kill sealed the comeback win 26-24.
The Gauchos got off to a strong 5-3 lead in the second set. Aces from Durkin and Langlois then helped BYU on a 6-1 run to take a 9-6 edge. After a timeout, UC Santa Barbara scored six of the next eight points to go back up 12-11. Multiple Langlois kills kept the Cougars in the set, ahead 17-16. A Tim Dobbert kill gave BYU set point at 24-22, and a Langlois kill ended the set for the Cougars 25-23.
The Gauchos came out on a tear in the third set, going up 4-0 early. BYU stormed back on a 4-1 run, capped off by a Sander, Jarman and Durkin block, to tie the set at 5-5. A Langlois kill put the Cougars ahead 11-8, and a Sander and Jarman block extended the advantage to four at 16-12. Another block, this time from Grosh and Durkin, put BYU up 22-15, forcing a timeout from UC Santa Barbara. A Ben Patch, Langlois and Grosh block then won the set 25-16 for the Cougars, putting them up 2-1 for the match.
The fourth set began with a slew of service errors on both sides, resulting in a 6-5 BYU lead. A Langlois kill extended the advantage to six, 11-5, before a Grosh ace made it 17-9. The Cougars continued to cruise from there, taking the set 25-15 on a Gaucho attack error.
BYU will face off against UC Santa Barabara for a second time Friday, April 7, at 5 p.m. PDT, at the Thunderdome for the Gauchos’ Senior Night. Live stats and a video stream will be available. Links can be found on the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page.