(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Double-digit kills from Ben Patch and Jake Langlois led No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball to a sweep (25-20, 25-16, 26-24) over No. 10 UC Santa Barbara at the Smith Fieldhouse Friday night.
“We were really physical tonight," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "Our guys made good decisions at key points in the match. Patch had good energy tonight and had some really big swings for us at crucial times. We had a team figuring out how to win in Provo late in the third set, and we needed to put the pressure on more. Overall though, I was pleased with our effort."
BYU (7-2, 5-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) out-hit UC Santa Barbara (8-4, 4-3 MPSF) .330 to .165. Despite the Gauchos’ advantage in blocks (11 to eight), the Cougars had three less attack errors and 44 total kills to the Guachos’ 31 kills.
Patch led all players with 16 kills while also leading the Cougars in digs with nine, which is a season-high for him. Langlois tallied 13 kills, four digs and two blocks in the win. With a game-high six blocks, Price Jarman had five kills with a .556 clip. Leo Durkin had 38 assists in the sweep with seven digs.
BYU jumped out to a 3-2 lead in the first set after a back row kill from Brenden Sander. After holding on to a lead, UC Santa Barbara came back to take the 8-7 edge on a BYU hitting error. A pair of kills from Sander put the Cougars back on top, 9-8. The Gauchos rallied again, taking the 15-14 advantage following consecutive blocks. However, the Cougars responded with a 5-1 run, which included two big kills from Langlois, to push their lead to 20-17. Back-to-back blocks from Jarman, Durkin and Langlois finished off the set 25-20, giving BYU the early advantage.
Durkin set up Patch for a big kill early on in the second set to give the Cougars a 5-3 lead. The Gauchos responded by tying up the score, but five unanswered points from BYU put the lead at 14-8. A block from Jarman and kills from Langlois and Patch highlighted the 5-0 run. Sander hustled to get a shanked ball to set Patch up for the kill, pushing the lead to 16-10. The Cougars closed out the second set on an 8-2 run with a line shot from Patch finishing the set, 25-16.
UC Santa Barbara came out strong in the third set, taking the early lead. Kills from Patch and Jarman would get the Cougars within one before the Gauchos got the sideout. A hitting error from UC Santa Barbara tied the game at 10-all. The two teams would tie four more times before BYU finally went on a 3-0 run to push ahead 16-14 following a back row kill by Sander.
The Cougars continued to cruise, scoring another three unanswered points to go up 19-16, capped off by a quick kill from Jarman. The Gauchos would not go away, however, and avoided three match-point rallies to make it 24-23, forcing Olmstead to call a timeout. After UC Santa Barbara tied it up 24-24, BYU scored two points in a row with a tool off the block by Langlois to take the third set 26-24, completing the sweep.
These two teams will play again in the Smith Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. MST on Saturday night. The game will be televised live on BYUtv and broadcast on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143.