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Josh Carter | Posted: 31 Jan 2020 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Josh Carter

No. 2 BYU defeats No. 3 UCSB to remain unbeaten

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BYU men's volleyball player Gabi Garcia Fernandez celebrates against UCSB in 2020 match.
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PROVO, Utah — The No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team topped No. 3 UC Santa Barbara in four sets (25-16, 21-25, 25-21, 25-17) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse to extend its winning streak to nine matches.

BYU vs. UCSB Final Box Score

“This was an exciting match to be part of,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They were really aggressive, and I like how we responded. Our ball control is continuing to get better and better, so we’re building on those things. They had us on our heels for a lot of that match, so I’m proud of the guys and how they responded.”

Opposite hitter Gabi Garcia Fernandez totaled a match-high 18 kills on the night to move up to 10th on the school’s all-time career kills list (rally era) with 918 career kills. Garcia Fernandez hit at a .529 clip, tallying zero kill errors and 34 kill attempts to also move him up to 10th on the school’s all-time career attack attempts list with 1,970. The junior's 18 kills and no errors are the most kills with no errors since Yosleyder Cala had 19 kills and no flaws against USC in 2007. The opposite hitter also recorded 10 digs for his second consecutive double-double while adding four blocks and an assist in the win.

Setter Wil Stanley moved up to 10th on BYU’s all-time career assists list (rally era), contributing 42 assists on the match to put him at 978 career assists. The setter also added three kills and eight digs. Outside hitter Davide Gardini totaled 12 kills, nine digs and four blocks while outside hitter Zach Eschenberg had eight kills and seven digs. Middle blocker Miki Jauhiainen added six kills on a .500 clip to along with four blocks on the night.

As a team, the Cougars (9-0) finished with a .402 clip while holding the Gauchos (6-1) to just a .272 hitting percentage.

Set 1
Two kills by Garcia Fernandez and one by Jauhiainen gave the Cougars an early 3-1 lead. With BYU up 7-6 later in the set, a Wil Stanley kill and a Felipe de Brito Ferreira ace put the Cougars back up three, 9-6. Teams then traded points back and forth until back-to-back aces by Garcia Fernandez gave BYU a 15-10 advantage. Two aces by Jon Stanley and kills by Gardini, Eschenberg, Jauhiainen and Garcia Fernandez highlighted a 7-0 run to give the Cougars a 23-13 edge. Kills by Jauhiainen and Garcia Fernandez then gave BYU the 25-16 set win.

Set 2
A block by Jauhiainen and Garcia Fernandez put the Cougars up 2-1 early in the set. The Gauchos then used a 7-2 run to take an 8-4 advantage. The two teams as a Jauhiainen kill brought the score to 13-9. Consecutive kills by de Brito Ferreira and a Gardini ace brought BYU within two points, 15-13. Teams continued to battle back and forth until a block by Jauhiainen and Garcia Fernandez cut the Cougars’ deficit to a single point, 19-18. The Gauchos answered with a 6-3 run to take the second game, 25-21.

Set 3
Kills by Wil Stanley and Gardini gave the Cougars a 3-2 advantage in the third set. The two teams then went back and forth, with two kills by Garcia Fernandez and one by Gardini tying the set at 11-all. Two more kills by Garcia Fernandez and Gardini kept the set tied at 15. Another pair of Garcia Fernandez kills gave BYU a two-point cushion, 19-17. A pair of UCSB service errors followed by a Garcia Fernandez kill gave the Cougars a 23-20 lead. Kills by Gardini and Garcia Fernandez then sealed the win for BYU, 25-21.   

Set 4
A block by de Brito Ferreira and Gardini followed by an Eschenberg kill and a Garcia Fernandez ace put the Cougars up 3-0. Two more kills by Eschenberg and one by Gardini gave BYU an 8-5 advantage. Kills by Eschenberg and Garcia Fernandez helped increase the Cougars’ lead to 14-10. Kills by Gardini, Eschenberg and de Brito Ferreira put BYU up five, 17-12. A Wil Stanley kill followed by an Eschenberg kill gave the Cougars a 21-16 lead. Back-to-back kills by Jauhiainen followed by a Gaucho attack error and a block by Jauhiainen and Gardini gave BYU the 25-17 set win.  

The Cougars will remain at the Smith Fieldhouse for their second match against UCSB on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and on the BYUtv App. Tickets can be purchased at byutickets.com.

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Braden Taylor | Posted: 29 Jan 2020 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Braden Taylor

No. 2 BYU returns home to face undefeated No. 3 UCSB

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Brody Earnest leads a cheer in the middle of the BYU men's volleyball huddle

PROVO, Utah – No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball will play No. 3 UC Santa Barbara in the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. MST and Saturday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. MST.

BYU Game Notes

It will be a battle between two undefeated teams as the Cougars (8-0) host the Gauchos (6-0) this upcoming weekend. Both matches will be televised on BYUtv as well as streamed on the BYUtv App and byutv.org.

The former conference foes have played 66 times with BYU leading the series 42-24. While UCSB has historically struggled in Provo with a record of 7-25, the Gauchos have won five of the last six matches played against the Cougars in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Winning the first eight matches of the season, BYU is off to its best start since going 12-0 to open the 2008 season. The Cougars have played one of the toughest schedules in the country, facing six ranked opponents and playing six of their eight matches on the road. They will have plenty of opportunities to compete in front of the home crowd going forward as seven of their next eight matches will be in Provo.

BYU remained at No. 2 in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll and received two first-place votes after beating No. 5 UC Irvine twice last week. UCSB defeated No. 8 Stanford last Saturday to stay at No. 3.

The Cougars swept MPSF weekly honors for the second time this year. Opposite hitter Gabi Garcia Fernandez received the MPSF Offensive Player of the Week award and the conference named Wil Stanley the MPSF Defensive Player of the Week. BYU has now collected five of the eight total MPSF weekly honors so far this year.

Garcia Fernandez continues to lead the NCAA with an average of 1.00 aces per set. The junior also ranks second in points per set (5.86) and fifth in kills per set (4.39). Stanley is averaging 11.56 assists per set to rank second in the nation while outside hitter Davide Gardini is fourth in the country in both kills per set (4.50) and points per set (5.30).

As a team, the Cougars are currently second in the NCAA in both kills per set (13.64) and assists per set (12.75). They also rank third in hitting percentage (.360) and fourth in blocks per set (2.89).

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Box Score

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Team Attack Stats By Set

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Play By Play

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