BYU squanders three set points, loses national title

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The BYU men’s volleyball team missed three set points, losing the third set 26–24, and was swept 3-0 in the NCAA championship by UC Irvine.

The Cougars jumped out to a quick lead at 3-1. The teams traded kills to an eventual 10-10 tie. Colin Mehring had three kills during that stretch for UCI while Russ Lajava and Devin Young had two each.

The Anteaters took a 12-10 lead on back-to-back hitting errors by the Cougars. A UCI hitting error and a Taylor Sander kill gave the Cougars the lead back at 14-13, but UCI quickly retook the lead at 15-14 on a kill by Kevin Tillie and a team block.

A block by the Cougars and a kill by Sander tied the game at 17. A kill by Josue Rivera gave the Cougars a two-point advantage at 21-19, forcing a UCI timeout. Two kills from Sander gave the Cougars a 24-21 lead and their first set point.

A kill from Scott Kevorken and a hitting error by Sander cut the Cougar lead to 24-23, forcing a timeout. A Kevorken block tied the game, and a Sander error gave the Anteaters the lead at 25-24 and a match point leading to another BYU timeout. A UCI team block gave the Anteaters the set and the match, giving them another national championship.

BYU squandered an early lead and dropped the second set, 25-22.

A service ace from Ben Patch gave the Cougars an early 5-3 lead. A UCI service error was followed by an ace from BYU’s Josue Rivera, stretching the Cougars’ lead to 8-4.

Two kills by Russ Lavaja gave the Cougars an 11-4 lead, but UCI’s Kevorken had back-to-back kills in the midst of a 5-0 Anteater run that cut the lead to 11-9. A kill by Patch stopped the UCI run, but the Anteaters scored three straight to tie the game at 12.

UCI took its first lead of the set at 14-13 on kill by Kevin Tillie. The teams exchanged points until a Kevorken kill gave UCI a 19-17 lead. The Cougars then scored back-to-back points and tied the game at 19 on a kill by Devin Young.

UCI took a 22-20 lead on a kill by Zack La Cavera. The Cougars fought back to a 22-23 deficit, but a kill by Connor Hughes gave UCI a 24-22 lead and a set point. A block by Kevorken gave the Anteaters the second set.

BYU lost the first set of the NCAA championship match to UCI, 25-23.

An early 3-0 run gave BYU a 6-4 lead that eventually stretched to 8-5. The teams traded points until the Anteaters scored three straight points to take their first lead of the set, 13-12.

Another 3-0 run gave UCI a 17-14 lead, forcing BYU head coach Chris McGown to take a timeout. The Cougars came out of the timeout strong with three kills from Sander and one from Patch to tie the game at 18, forcing a UCI timeout.

The teams again alternated points until a UCI block gave the Anteaters a 24-23 lead and their first set point. A kill by UCI’s Kyle Russell sailed wide and was tipped by the BYU block, giving UCI the first set victory.

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