Otavio Souza recorded a .714 hitting percentage in BYU's 3-0 win over UC Irvine. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The No. 3 BYU men's volleyball team completed their weekend sweep of the UC Irvine Anteaters with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22. 25-21) win on Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse.
“We played a complete match last night and we just wanted to come back and do it again,” said BYU head coach Rob Neilson. “Defensively, I thought we played a lot better tonight as we forced them into some swings they didn’t want to take. I thought Joe did a great job running our defense and our hitters attacked the court and made some really good choices.”
Freshman Taylor Sander led in kills for the night with a game-high total of 13 and a .600 hitting percentage.
Both teams battled for the lead throughout the first set until the Cougars jumped ahead to 17-13 after a five-point run. The team built off of their lead to win the first set 25-17 with help from Sander and Rob Stowell who contributed four kills each.
BYU trailed in the second set before rallying a comeback to tie the score at 21-21. After a three-point run, the Cougars finished strong, winning 25-22. Sander tied with UC Irvine’s Carson Clark for the set-high five kills.
The third set was back and forth until the Cougars brought home the sweep on a five-point run to tie the game before extending their lead to 17-13 and finally finishing at 25-21 on a final kill by Stowell.
The Cougars will again fill the Smith Fieldhouse next weekend on February 4 & 5 at 7 p.m. when they take on the UCLA Bruins.