(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – Freshman Ben Patch notched a team-high 16 kills but it wasn’t enough as the No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team was upset by the No. 13 Lewis Flyers in five sets (25-21, 25-19, 20-25, 18-25, 9-15) on Friday night in the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars (2-1) were out hit .262 percent to .203 percent and didn’t have an answer for the Flyers’ (1-3) Geoff Powell who had a match-high 24 kills and hit .767 percent with just one attack error on the night.
Patch’s kill total set a new personal best in his young career. Junior Taylor Sander also had 14 kills and four aces but put up just a .114 hitting percentage. BYU suffered from 21 service errors on the night.
The Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match but Lewis didn’t lie down in the third set. The Flyers picked up the third set win and went on to control the fourth and fifth sets to roll to their first victory of the season, handing BYU its first loss.
In a tight first set, Patch’s seven kills gave the home team a 25-21 win. Lewis played the Cougars close the entire set, even taking a 12-10 early lead. BYU battled back behind three aces from Sander and relied on Patch’s timely kills for the win in set one.
A Lewis ace brought the Flyers within one point at 12-11 in the second set before BYU went on 4-1 run, including an ace from Devin Young to improve its lead to 16-12 in the second set. The Cougars controlled the set the rest of the way, winning it 25-19 to take a 2-0 lead in the match
The Flyers took a 15-12 lead in set three, forcing BYU to regroup during a timeout. Out of the break the Cougars struggled to keep pace and eventually fell 25-20. Lewis had just one attack error during the set and hit .647 percent.
In set four, Lewis gained more momentum, trading scores with BYU early but dominating down the stretch. The Flyers stretched their lead to 17-12 and rode four blocks and too many service errors from the Cougars to a 25-18 win, forcing a fifth set.
Neither team took more than a two-point cushion early in set five. BYU took an early 6-4 lead before Lewis flew back to a 7-6 advantage with a 3-0 run. Sander got back-to-back blocks to push BYU ahead but the Flyers took it right back and built up an 13-8 lead with a 6-0 run. The Cougars couldn’t recover, dropping the set 15-9 and the match 3-2.
BYU will get another shot at Lewis Saturday in a second match beginning at 7 p.m. MST in the Smith Fieldhouse.