No. 10 BYU rolls past No. 13 UC Irvine in sweep
PROVO, Utah — No. 10 BYU men’s volleyball picked up its second straight victory against No. 13 UC Irvine, sweeping the Anteaters (25-22, 25-18, 25-21) in the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday.
"It felt great winning in three tonight, coming off a five-set match last night," said BYU senior outside hitter Davide Gardini. "We are all very sore, and playing a five-set game is super tough. Being able to get that win means a lot to us. We played very well and there are some things we could improve on, but we feel pretty confident right now."
The teams faced on Friday night in a thrilling five-set match with BYU coming away with a narrow win. In the all-time series between these two teams, BYU now leads 52-20. These two wins over UCI bring BYU’s overall season record to 2-2.
Gardini paced the Cougars with a team-high 13 kills, hitting a .444 hitting percentage while also adding two service aces and three blocks to his stat line. Senior opposite hitter Alex Ah Sue backed Gardini with 11 kills.
BYU freshman outside hitter Miks Ramanis added a career-high nine kills.
As a team, BYU recorded a .395 hitting percentage on 44 kills while holding the Anteaters to a .187 clip.
BYU’s Gardini and sophomore middle blocker Gavin Julien started the match with two quick kills. The Anteaters capitalized on two Cougar service errors and answered back with a few blocks and a kill by Connor Campbell to put them on the board, tying the game 6-6. Ah Sue continued the momentum with a kill of his own.
Kills by Ah Sue, senior middle blocker Branden Oberender and Ramanis allowed the Cougars to pull slightly ahead, but BYU’s fourth service error of the set tied the score at 8-8. Two BYU attack errors contributed to the Anteaters taking the lead. Battling back, Gardini laid down two quick kills, tying the set for the tenth time at 12-12.
The Cougars managed a 3-0 run, including a kill by Ramanis, breaking away at 17-14. A few errors by both teams occurred until Oberender notched another kill at 20-17. Gardini and Ah Sue continued the momentum, tacking on three combined kills. A .407 clip gave the Cougars leverage, winning the set at 25-22.
BYU started the match with a slight lead at 7-4, thanks to two kills by Ah Sue. UCI’s Cole Gillis contributed three crucial kills to tie the match at 8-8. Even with two kills from Gardini and Ah Sue, UCI took the lead off a BYU attack error at 11-10.
The set shifted after two kills and two aces by Gardini. This gave BYU an edge at 18-13. From there, Ah Sue celebrated his eighth and ninth kills of the night, widening the gap to 22-17. Two UCI attack errors secured BYU its second set win at 25-18.
Two attack errors by the Cougars gave UCI a 2-0 lead. BYU made a comeback with kills by Oberender, Julian and Ah Sue, tying the set at 5-5. A UCI service error and kill by sophomore setter Zeo Meyer gave BYU its first lead at 7-6.
BYU followed with three attack errors, giving the Anteaters their lead back at 9-8. This lit a spark under Gardini who slammed two consecutive kills. From that point, the teams tied another twelve times. At 23-21, Ramanis hit his ninth kill.
A final service ace by Ah Sue sealed BYU its first sweep of the season, winning the final set 25-21.
Up next, BYU will host the University of Mount Olive for a two-game series in the Smith Fieldhouse starting on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. MDT.
No. 10 BYU hosts No. 13 UC Irvine in first home series of 2022
PROVO, Utah — No. 10 BYU men’s volleyball will host No. 13 UC Irvine in a two-match series in the Smith Fieldhouse starting Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. MST.
In the all-time series between these two teams, BYU leads 50-20. The Cougars last faced the Anteaters in January 2020, when BYU picked up two 3-1 victories.
No. 10 Brigham Young University Cougars (0-2, 0-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation)
- BYU finished the 2021 season with a 20-4 record, its eighth MPSF Conference championship title, a trip to the NCAA national championship game and a No. 2 national ranking
- This is head coach Shawn Olmstead’s seventh season
- The Cougars welcome back 11 returners and have added nine newcomers
- Off the Block recognized junior Davide Gardini as preseason First Team All-American
- In its season opener, BYU fell 3-0 to Penn State in back-to-back matches in University Park, Pennsylvania
No. 13 University of California Irvine Anteaters (3-1, 0-0 Big West Conference)
- No. 12 ranking in the AVCA preseason coaches' poll
- The Anteaters are coming off two wins against Harvard (3-0) and Stanford (3-1)
- Freshman Hilir Henno made his Anteater debut and earned Big West Defensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week
- UC Irvine finished its 2021 season with a 2-14 overall record and a 2-8 conference record
- At the end of last season, Cole Gillis, Francesco Sani, Dylan Zhai and Connor Campbell were all named to the Big West All-Freshman team, the most first year honorees in Anteater history
BROADCAST INFORMATION – Jan. 21
BROADCAST INFORMATION – Jan. 22
Consistent with current BYU requirements, all in attendance will need to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test upon entry. Masks will also be required, regardless of vaccination status. Find more details at byu.edu/coronavirus.