BYU falls 3-0 to No. 2 UCLA on the road


LOS ANGELES — No. 8 BYU men’s volleyball dropped a 3-0 (17-25, 21-25, 18-25) contest to No. 2 UCLA in the John Wooden Center Saturday evening for its fourth loss of the season.

The Bruins (13-1) hit .481 on the night while BYU (8-4) managed a .311 hitting percentage. UCLA won it from the front row and the service line, with five aces and eight total blocks, holding BYU to just two blocks and only one ace. BYU’s bench players led the Cougars in kills, with Anthony Cherfan recording eight kills and Luke Benson earning five. 

Set One

Kupono Browne started off with a kill, quickly followed by another for the Cougars to go up 2-1. UCLA’s senior Alex Knight showed out with back-to-back blocks for the Bruins to take a 9-6 lead. He would go on to have a match-high five blocks. BYU continued to trail until a solo block by Teon Taylor tied the score at 12-12. When the Cougars were down by four BYU took a timeout, with the score at 17-13. Multiple attack and reception errors by BYU would extend UCLA’s lead. An ace by Knight closed the set at 25-17.

UCLA hit a .357 clip, holding BYU to a .174 hitting percentage. The Bruins reached half of its total blocks in the first set with four. Browne led with Cougars with four kills.

Set Two

The Bruins held the lead during the entire second set. Gavin Julien got his first kill of the night for the score to reach 5-3, Cougars down two. Benson came off the bench and recorded an ace, taking the score to 13-9. The Cougars slowed down UCLA’s lead by going on a 3-0 run, with kills from Miks Ramanis and Taylor, for the Bruins to take a timeout at 17-13. Benson dinked the ball over the net for a 19-16 score, closely followed by another Benson kill, taking the set to 20-17. The Cougars got as close as two points behind at 22-20, but would fall 25-21 after an Ido David kill. David would lead all players with 21 kills in the match on a .581 clip.

UCLA added on three more blocks while BYU recorded none in the second set. BYU’s Anthony Cherfan subbed in during set two and recorded four kills on a .375 clip as a spark off the bench.

Set Three

The Bruins started off set three with four consecutive points until a Cherfan kill took the score to 4-1. BYU took a timeout down 8-2, looking to regroup. Benson followed through with a kill for BYU. The Bruins rolled through the third set, with their highest lead at 16-8. BYU’s freshman Trent Moser subbed in place of Benson and recorded the next four points, with three kills and a block assist, forcing a UCLA timeout at 16-12. The Bruins reached match point after going on a 3-0 run, and finished the third set off a David kill at 25-18.

Next weekend, the Cougars travel back to California to face Concordia University Irvine. The first match of the series between the Cougars and the Golden Eagles will be on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. PST.