No. 3 BYU loses second match against No. 9 UCSB
SANTA BARBARA, Calif — No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball dropped the second match of a back-to-back series at No. 9 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, falling in three sets (25-15, 25-16, 27-25) at Robertson Gymnasium.
Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the Cougars with 13 kills and six digs on the night. Felipe de Brito Ferreira followed with eight kills on a .727 hitting percentage. Thirteen Cougars saw action in Saturday’s match, the most in any match this season.
The Gauchos jumped out to a 10-7 lead in the first set, with seven kills on a solid .455 hitting percentage early. UCSB continued its hot streak, increasing the lead to 19-10 as the team’s hitting percentage rose to over .500. Despite two service aces from Andrew Lincoln late in the set, the Cougars fell behind with a 25-15 loss in the opening set.
UCSB got another quick start with a 10-6 lead in the second set, crossing the 20-kill mark while maintaining a .400 hitting percentage or higher. UCSB’s Ryan Wilcox got his 10th kill of the match as the Gauchos extended their lead to 20-12 in the second set. The UCSB offense was firing on all cylinders, with a 28-14 advantage in kills, 26 assists and six service aces after a 25-16 second set victory.
BYU brought on freshman outside hitter Kana’i Akana to try and make a difference in the third set, and his energy combined with improved hitting from Garcia Fernandez and de Brito Ferreira allowed the Cougars to take a 13-11 lead. Garcia Fernandez reached double-digit kills as the Cougars extended their lead to 20-15, their largest of the match. The Gauchos came back to tie the match at 25, however, and an ace and a kill gave them the sweep over the Cougars, 27-25.
BYU falls to 4-2 on the season, with conference play in the MPSF beginning Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. PST at Pepperdine. Links for live stats and streaming can be found on the schedule page.