No. 3 BYU Hosts No. 7 UC Irvine

PROVO -- The BYU men's volleyball team returns to conference play this weekend, hosting seventh-ranked UC Irvine in back-to-back Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches Friday (March 14) and Saturday (March 15) at 7 p.m.

"These matches will be huge," BYU head coach Tom Peterson said. "We need to win these to have a shot at the conference championship. But Irvine will be in a must-win situation, too."

Friday's match marks the 27th meeting between the teams, with third-ranked BYU (13-4, 11-3 MPSF) holding a 21-5 advantage in the series with UC Irvine (15-6, 8-6 MPSF). BYU has won the last four contests and 21 of the last 22.

The Anteaters opened the season on a 10-match winning streak and spent a few weeks as number one in the polls, but recently have suffered five losses in their past eight matches to drop down to No. 7. The Cougars are enjoying their fifth week in the No. 3 spot despite splitting their last two matches with non-conference opponent Penn State.

Both matches begin at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. Due to construction next to the Fieldhouse, fans will enter through the large annex doors on the west side of the building. Tickets will be available at the door starting an hour and a half before game time or at the Marriott Center Ticket Office, (801)378-BYU1.

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