Browne, Ramanis help BYU hit its way to 3-1 win over No. 14 Lewis

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PROVO, Utah — Kupono Browne and Miks Ramanis combined for 30 kills as BYU men’s volleyball surged past No. 14 Lewis for a 3-1 win (25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17) on Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

Browne recorded 16 kills on a 0.522 clip, the second-highest hitting percentage of his career. The junior from Honolulu, Hawaii also registered three blocks.

Ramanis totaled 14 kills and five digs, while Luke Benson also reached double-figures with 11 kills. Teon Taylor fortified BYU’s side of the net with a team-high five blocks, while also adding seven kills. Setter Heath Hughes exceeded his BYU debut on Friday as he poured-in 47 assists and seven digs.

As a team, BYU hit 0.438, its highest since a 3-0 win over Concordia on March 11, 2022. The Cougars posted 54 kills as a team while holding Lewis to 38 at a hitting percentage of 0.267. Max Roquet led the Flyers with 10 kills, three digs and a block. 

Set One

Errors hampered both teams in the first set with BYU recording seven and Lewis 11. The Flyers and Cougars traded errors to a 15-14 BYU lead at the first media timeout. The Cougars came out of the break and found separation to a 19-16 with three momentum-building blocks. Browne and Taylor combined for back-to-back blocks in the sequence.

Kills from Taylor, Benson and Browne helped BYU build a set-high lead at 24-19 before Ramanis finished the set with a winning kill.

Set Two

Lewis notched an early ace and took off to a 6-3 lead before BYU responded with three-straight points led by a Benson kill and Browne ace. Browne would finish with four aces on the night.

The Cougars and Flyers then alternated ties and one-point leads until Lewis pulled ahead on a pair of BYU attacking errors. Despite kills from Ramanis, Benson and Hughes, the Cougars were unable to overcome six errors down the stretch and fell 25-23.

Lewis tied the match after hitting 0.316 and holding BYU to 0.192.

Set Three

The Cougars’ attack found new life as they hit at a clip of 0.750 to win the third set 25-17. After consecutive Lewis kills BYU led 9-8. The Cougars responded with a 3-0 run behind kills from Browne and Ramanis along with an ace from Hughes.

A bad set and service error from the Flyers, coupled with another Browne ace, helped BYU roll to a six-point lead at 17-11. The Cougars would open a match-high eight-point lead at 24-16 following a Benson kill. The Cougars registered 13 kills to the Flyers’ 10 while holding Lewis to a 0.316 clip in the third.

Set Four

After building a 2-1 match lead, BYU hit 0.433 and cruised to the win. Back-to-back Ramanis aces gave BYU a quick 7-2 lead before a collection of Cougar errors and a Lewis kill helped the Flyers tie it at 11.

Ramanis resuscitated the Cougar attack with three-consecutive kills. BYU further bolstered its lead and ultimately put the match away with a 6-1 run. Ramanis, Taylor and Hughes combined for a resounding block to finish the set with the 25-17 victory.

BYU (2-0) remains at home for two matches versus Fairleigh Dickinson on Jan. 20-21. The Cougars will battle the Knights on Friday at 7 p.m. MST on BYUtv/BYUtv app.