PROVO -- The seventh-ranked BYU men's volleyball team got back to its winning ways on Friday, upending No. 14 UC Santa Barbara, 3-0. After nearly two weeks rest, Friday's win in the Smith Fieldhouse improves the Cougars' record to 17-8, 12-6, on the season, while the Gauchos fall to 10-12, 6-10.
"Every phase of the match was really, really well done," BYU head coach Carl McGown said. "We served great, we passed great, we blocked great. I expect tomorrow will be much more competitive. They need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. However, we also want to win in order to keep at least a fifth-seed for the tournament."
Santa Barbara native Mike Wall led the Cougar offense, producing 24 kills on 41 attempts (.415) at the net. Matt Olsen and UCSB transfer Joaquin Acosta combined for 29 kills, while Mac Wilson hit .615 on 8-of-13 attempts. Senior setter Chris Pitzak recorded 57 assists on the night, but also added eight digs and four blocks for the BYU defense. Senior Casey Jennings led the defensive effort with nine digs, while Brad Goldston added eight. Junior Mac Wilson chipped in 10 blocks as the Cougar defense held UCSB to just .200 (57-of-135) at the net, forcing 30 errors.
Senior Kevin Collins recorded a team-high 16 kills for the Gauchos, while Britt Galang chalked up nine digs. UCSB managed just 7.0 blocks against the Cougar offense.
In game one, the Cougars jumped out to a, 5-1, lead before Andy Tomkinson and Andy Rivera blocked a BYU attempt to end the Cougar rally. After a Rivera error that gave BYU a 7-3 lead, the Cougars went on a 7-1 run before Acosta and Matt Olsen ended the game on a block assist, 15-4.
With BYU leading, 10-8, in game two, the Cougars picked up the momentum on back-to-back points, including an Acosta back-row heater and a Wall cross-court kill. Juan Carlos Zegarra ended the streak, but it would be short lived as Wall picked up his ninth and tenth kills of the game to give BYU a 14-9 advantage. Acosta ended the game by putting away a UCSB overpass, 15-9.
After the Gauchos took a 2-0 lead in game three, the Cougars came storming back on four straight points, including Jennings' second ace of the night to give BYU the 4-2 lead. After UC Santa Barbara cut the lead back to one, 4-3, the Cougars went on a 5-0 run, taking a, 9-3, lead after Jennings made a stellar kick-save at the scorer's table. The Gauchos would score once more, but BYU would answer by scoring six unanswered points to end the match, 15-4.
The Cougars, who have already clinched a spot in the MPSF Tournament, will take on UCSB again on Saturday in the regular-season finale, beginning at 7 p.m. (MDT) in the Smith Fieldhouse.
Short Box Score (Final)
#14 UC Santa Barbara vs Brigham Young (Apr. 7, 2000 at Provo, Utah)
Brigham Young def. #14 UC Santa Barbara 15-4,15-9,15-4
#14 UC Santa Barbara (10-12, 6-10) (Kills-aces-blocks) - COLLINS,
Kevin 16-0-3; KOMER, Chris 13-0-2; ZEGARRA, Jan Carlo 9-0-1; RIVERA,
Andy 6-0-1; KOHL, David 4-1-0; TOMKINSON, Andy 4-0-3; BADOREK, Wes
2-0-1; BUSAM, Keith 2-0-0; GALANG, Britt 1-0-1; Totals 57-1-7.0.
(Assists) - GALANG, Britt 51. (Dig leaders) - GALANG, Britt 9;
CANTRELL, Blake 8
Brigham Young (17-8, 12-6) (Kills-aces-blocks) - WALL, Mike 24-0-1;
OLSEN, Matt 15-0-4; ACOSTA, Joaquin 14-0-6; JENNINGS, Casey 11-2-2;
WILSON, Mac 8-0-10; PITZAK, Chris 1-0-4; Totals 73-2-14.5. (Assists) -
PITZAK, Chris 57. (Dig leaders) - JENNINGS, Casey 9; GOLDSTON, Brad 8;
PITZAK, Chris 8; WALL, Mike 8
Site: Provo, Utah (Smith Fieldhouse)
Date: Apr. 7, 2000 Attend: 1163 Time: 1:45
Referees: Les Calles, Tom Given, DJM;JDM;RG;EK;ST;MA