(Photo by Ryan Faulkner/BYU)
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 1 BYU men's volleyball team went 1-1 on the first day of action in the 2012 UCSB/asics Gaucho Invitational. They fell to No. 2 UC Irvine in the first round and then defeated Loyola-Chicago in the second.
Round 1 vs. UC Irvine
In its first match of the 2012 season, the Cougars were matched up against No. 2 UC Irvine. BYU took an early lead in set one and held that lead for an early 1-0 set victory but the Anteaters came out strong in the second and took a quick 5-1 lead, leaving the Cougars to catch up. They were able to cut the lead to one point before UC Irvine took off and finished set two with a 25-18 final.
The Anteaters won set three 25-17 and set four in a close 25-23 final for the match victory.
Round 2 vs. Loyola-Chicago
The Cougars bounced back from a loss a couple hours before to defeate Loyola-Chicago in five sets. The Ramblers and Cougars traded points in the first and second sets with each team taking one to tie up the score. BYU took set three in a convincing 25-16 final but Loyola added to the drama with a 25-23 win in set four to take the match to a fifth set.
In set five the Cougars hit 67 percent as a team on their way to a 15-11 victory. Taylor Sander led all players with 28 kills against the Ramblers.
Up next for BYU is a match against host UC Santa Barbara at 1:30 p.m. PT. Live stats are available for the match at this link.
Saturday, Jan. 7 - Round 3
Match 9: Loyola (Chicag) vs. CS Northridge
Match 10: BYU vs. UCSB, 1:30 p.m. PT - Thunderdome
Match 11: Ohio State vs. Long Beach State
Match 12 (championship): UC Irvine vs. UCLA