Cougars Down Red-Hot UC Irvine
IRVINE -- The fourth-ranked BYU men's volleyball team defeated red-hot UC Irvine in four games on Saturday, ending the Anteaters four-match win streak. After dropping game one, the Cougars rallied back to win three straight and finish their first road trip of the season with back-to-back wins. The victory improved BYU to 9-2 on the season and 7-2 in the MPSF, while UC Irvine dropped to 7-5 overall and 3-4 in league play.
After dropping game one, 28-30, All-American Mike Wall, Joaquin Acosta and Luka Slabe took over on offense by producing a combined 42 kills on the night. Rafael Paal led the defensive effort with a match-high 12 digs and seven blocks, leading the Cougars to a 30-17, 30-17, 30-20 come-from-behind victory at UCI's Crawford Hall.
Acosta tallied a match-high 15 kills, hitting 15-of-31 (.387) at the net. He also produced 10 digs and five blocks. Wall had 14 kills, while Slabe recorded a season-high 13 kills on the night. Freshman setter Carlos Moreno tallied 50 assists in the victory.
BYU will return to Provo for a 10-day rest before hitting the road once again. The Cougars will return to action on Feb. 20 at UC Irvine.