Men’s Volleyball looking to finish Santa Barbara

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    By CHELSEA LEINENBACH

    With only one home game left in the season, the Cougars came away with a three-game sweep Thursday night against the University of California-Santa Barbara.

    “We play our last game against them tomorrow,” said sophomore Torry Tukuafu. “We shouldn’t have to change anything. The whole team has agreed that this was by far the best game we have played all season.”

    The fifth-ranked Cougars defeated No.14 UC-Santa Barbara 15-7, 15-3 and 15-1. The Cougars struggled a little in the first match. The two teams stayed neck and neck through the majority of the match until the last few minutes when BYU secured a win. From that point on, UC-Santa Barbara couldn’t touch the Cougars.

    After a two consecutive road losses last week at the hands of No. 4 Hawaii and No. 6 Stanford, the Cougars knew they needed Thursday night’s game for momentum going into the upcoming tournament next week.

    “Tonight’s games didn’t even matter,” Tukuafu said. “We really just needed the momentum after the last couple of losses. It will help us for next week’s tournament in Long Beach.”

    “It was mentally better for the team. To have this good of a game really puts us at an advantage later on,” junior Ossie Antonetti said. “It really helped our minds, having played one of the best games of the season. We played really good tonight.”

    The Cougars face UC-Santa Barbara again Friday, giving them a chance for two straight wins heading into the tournament. The team feels that it won’t face a great deal of difficulty winning again.

    “They will come out fired up and ready. They will want to beat us this time,” Tukuafu said. “But if we can come out fast, hard and loud, we won’t have any problems beating them again. If we play with the same energy level that we had tonight, we will be fine.”

    “If we can play with the same amount of intensity that we played with (Thursday night), we will win tomorrow,” Antonetti said.

    Antonetti said he felt absolutely confident that the Cougars can and will win their last home game of the season.

    The Cougars are now 15-5 and are in third place in the Mountain Division.

    Friday’s rematch is at 7:00 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.

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