University of California, San Diego
Feb 12 | 07:00 PM
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Brigham Young University
Hannah Miner | Posted: 12 Feb 2022 | Updated: 5 Apr 2022
Hannah Miner

No. 11 BYU falls in five sets for second straight night against No. 14 UC San Diego

Gavin Julien and Davide Gardini block an attack at the net

PROVO, Utah — No. 11 BYU fell to No. 14 UC San Diego in five sets (22-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-25, 12-15) on Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars fell to the Tritons Friday night, also in five sets. The loss brings BYU’s record this season to 5-5. 

BYU recorded a .331 hitting percentage on the evening, tallying 54 kills in the match, while UC San Diego held a .321 hitting percentage with 57 kills. The Cougars recorded 15 attack errors with 23 service errors compared to UCSD’s 21 attack errors and 19 service errors.

“There were a few things to learn; the major one is just focusing on our errors,” said BYU opposite hitter Anthony Cherfan. “We could be more disciplined in executing our jobs. It’s just little things that we need to do better.”

Cherfan recorded 12 kills and three blocks in the match, just behind BYU senior outside hitter Davide Gardini and BYU freshman outside hitter Miks Ramanis, who each put down 14 kills. Additionally, Ramanis tallied four blocks. Defensively, sophomore setter Bartosz Sławański totaled four blocks. He also had 45 assists, four off of his career-high of 49 assists that he set on Friday.

Saturday’s game saw another new starting lineup for the Cougars, the eighth combination in the season’s 10 games. BYU started Gardini, Cherfan, Ramanis, sophomore middle blocker Gavin Julien, Sławiński and senior middle blocker Branden Oberender for its matchup against the Tritons.

A kill by Julien earned BYU the first point of the match, but UC San Diego was quick to match the point with two of the Tritons' own. A kill by Gardini tied the score at 2-2, followed with a solo block by Ramanis to give BYU a slight edge. By 5-4, eight of the nine points were from kills. BYU's second service error allowed UCSD to pull ahead at 8-6. Two more BYU errors allowed UCSD to keep a two-point gap. 

At 13-12, the Cougars trailed by one after a kill by Ramanis. This started a killing spree by the teams. Eight of the next nine points came from kills, including points by Gardini and Cherfan. The Tritons continued to put pressure on the Cougars and created the largest gap of the set at 18-15 after two BYU errors, including the Cougars' fifth service error.

Kills by Julien and Ramanis helped BYU stay in the game. Oberender tacked on kill and a block to tie the score at 22-22. After tying 11 times, the Tritons finished the set with a three-point scoring run, winning the first set at 25-22.

The Cougars recorded a hitting percentage of .323 in the set for a higher clip than four of the five sets in Friday’s match, but with seven service errors compared with UCSD’s three, BYU was unable to outperform the Tritons.

BYU was quick to take the lead in the second set, earning the first three points of the set from UC San Diego errors and the Cougars’ first ace by Cherfan. A UCSD kill brought the score to 3-1, but Cherfan quickly laid down a kill for BYU, bringing the score to 4-1. UC San Diego managed one kill before the Cougars went on a scoring run, including a UCSD error, a kill by Julien and two blocks by Ramanis. This gave BYU the biggest lead of the night thus far at 8-2. 

UC San Diego battled to keep up, but the Cougars continued to increase their lead with kills by Cherfan and Gardini. Triton errors put the score at 12-6. BYU held onto its six-point lead as the set went on, with Julien slamming down a kill to keep the Cougars up 16-10. Three back-to-back-to-back kills by the Tritons diminished BYU’s lead to 16-13. However, a UCSD error and a kill by Cherfan kept BYU up 18-13.

The Tritons answered with another kill before a 5-0 scoring run by the Cougars increased BYU’s lead to 23-14. The teams traded service errors to bring BYU to set point. Cherfan slammed down his fifth kill of the set to secure BYU the set win at 25-15. BYU held UCSD to 15 points, the team’s lowest set tally of the weekend thus far. 

BYU upped its hitting percentage to .333 in the second set, holding UC San Diego to a .094 clip. BYU also kept its errors to a minimum, only recording one service error in the set compared to UCSD's five.

Another kill from Cherfan gave BYU the first point of the set, but UC San Diego responded with a 4-0 scoring run to take the lead at 4-1. The run included UCSD's Ryan Ka adding his 10th and 11th kills of the night. To tie up the score at 5-5, Julien put down two kills and an ace. UCSD regained a slight edge quickly, leading 8-6 after a block and BYU error. The teams traded points with kills by Gardini, Julien and Ramanis keeping BYU’s deficit to a minimum at 13-11.

The Cougars took the lead at 15-13 after Ramanis smashed three consecutive kills. The teams traded service errors before an ace from Ramanis increased BYU’s lead to 17-13. The Tritons responded with several kills from UCSD's Kyle McCauley, and although Julien put down another kill for the Cougars, UCSD pulled just ahead at 19-18.

A kill by Gardini tied the score at 19-19. A block from Sławiński paired with four consecutive errors by UC San Diego allowed BYU to take its second straight set win at 25-22.

UCSD put down a kill to begin the fourth set, and BYU responded with a quick kill by Gardini. The Cougars matched each of the Tritons’ points with one of their own, before a 6-0 scoring run by UCSD put BYU down 11-6.

The Tritons continued to build up their lead. Back-to-back kills from Ramanis aided in BYU’s attempt to keep up with the score at 13-10. Freshman middle blocker Alessandro Gianotti made his collegiate debut with his first BYU kill, bringing the score to 17-14. Ultimately, BYU failed to catch up after the Tritons finished the set with a seven-point scoring run, including two aces by McCauley, winning the set at 25-15.

The Tritons earned the first point of the final set off of a BYU error. The lead continued as the Cougars played catch-up throughout the set once again. BYU matched UCSD point-for-point with kills from Gardini, Julien, Cherfan and Ramanis. These contributions tied the score at 6-6. At that point, eight of the 12 points came from kills.

A UCSD kill and BYU error allowed the Tritons to put up two points in a row for the first time in the set, bringing their lead to 8-6. Back-to-back kills by Ramanis followed with a block by sophomore outside hitter Kupono Browne tied the score at 11-11. The Tritons responded with a 3-0 scoring run of their own, bringing them to set point at 14-11. Ramanis put down one more kill for the Cougars, but UCSD slammed down one final kill to win the set 15-12.

Up next, BYU hits the road to face UC Santa Barbara in a two-match series starting on Friday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. PST in the Robertson Gymnasium. 


Natalie Orr | Posted: 8 Feb 2022 | Updated: 5 Apr 2022
Natalie Orr

No. 11 BYU hosts No. 14 UC San Diego in a two-match series


PROVO, Utah — This week, No. 11 BYU men’s volleyball remains in Provo to host No. 14 UC San Diego for a pair of matches, starting Friday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. MDT.

Dating back to 1993, the Cougars and Tritons have faced each other on 44 occasions. BYU has never lost a single match. 

No. 11 Brigham Young University Cougars (5-3, 0-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation)

  • Last weekend, BYU faced undefeated Ball State, who was coming off two huge wins against No. 1 Hawaii. The Cougars tallied a hard-fought 3-2 win on Friday, but fell to the Cardinals 3-1 on Saturday.
  • BYU captain and preseason First Team All-American Davide Gardini went down with an ankle injury against University of Mount Olive two weeks ago. Gardini recovered and participated in both matches against Ball State.
  • Freshman outside hitter Miks Ramanis led the way offensively last Friday, putting up 19 kills and a .361 hitting percentage. On Saturday, sophomore outside hitter Kupono Browne topped the leaderboard with 19 kills and a .441 hitting percentage.
  • Nationally, BYU ranks No. 13 in assists per set (11.25), No. 15 in kills per set (12.00), No. 16 in blocks per set (2.172), No. 17 in hitting percentage (.281) and No. 19 in team attacks per set (26.59).
  • Sophomore setter Zeo Meyer ranks No. 7 in the NCAA in assists per set (9.82).
  • Sophomore middle blocker Gavin Julien ranks No. 19 in blocks per set (1.065).
  • The Cougars 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.

No. 14 University of California, San Diego Tritons (3-4, 0-0 Big West Conference)

  • Last weekend, UC San Diego posted two losses, first against USC (3-0) and then to Concordia Irvine (3-1).
  • Their wins this season came against Harvard, Stanford and Princeton.
  • Coming into the 2022 season, the Tritons received a No. 3 pre-season ranking in the Big West Conference.
  • Matt Palma ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in digs per set (2.86).
  • Kyle McCauley ranks No. 2 in the NCAA in attacks per set (9.92), No. 4 in points per set (5.15) and No. 4 in kills per set (4.46).
  • In the NCAA, UC San Diego ranks No. 1 in team attacks per set (29.39), No. 2 in digs per set (9.75), No. 6 in assists per set (11.86), No. 7 in kills per set (12.54) and No. 25 in hitting percentage (.265).




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