BYU men’s volleyball beats UCLA in first home game of the season

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Tim Dobbert jumps to strike the ball over the net during the BYU vs. Pacific volleyball game earlier this season. Photo by Natalie Stoker
Tim Dobbert jumps to strike the ball over the net during the BYU vs. Pacific volleyball game earlier this season. (Natalie Stoker)

The BYU men’s volleyball team had an exciting 3-0 win over the UCLA Bruins Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

“The enthusiasm from our fans is overwhelming,” coach Chris McGown said. “We hope for this energy to play off of.”

A Michael Hatch block gave the Cougars an early 3-1 lead in the first set. BYU widened that gap with a well-earned kill by Tim Dobbert, bringing the score to 5-1. Another kill and an ace by Dobbert extended the lead to 9-2, and from there BYU continued to score. A block by Michael Hatch and Kiril Meretev made the score 12-4. Back-to-back errors on UCLA made the score 17-7, a lead BYU held on to to take the first set 25-12.

The Bruins put up a fight in the second sequence and jumped out to a 4-3 lead. They worked to widen the gap, but kills by Meretev, Joe Grosh and Dobbert kept the Cougars close behind. An ace by Tyler Heap tied the score 8-8. Kills by Dobbert and Hatch helped BYU pull ahead 12-9, and more kills by Hatch and Jake Langlois widened that gap to 17-13. Kills by Meretev gave BYU a 21-15 lead before taking the second set 25-17.

The Cougars took the first point of the third set, giving them the first point in all three sets of the night. BYU took a 5-2 lead with a kill by Langlois while blocks by Dobbert and Grosh brought the Cougars ahead 7-2. Another Langlois kill gave the Cougars a 9-3 lead. They held onto a 13-5 lead with kills from Meretev while the Bruins worked to catch up. Dobbert’s second ace of the night brought the score to 18-12. BYU took the intense last point to win the set 25-17, giving them the match.

Dobbert led the match with 11 kills, three aces and three blocks. “I think we have a great team this year; on each position, we have great people. It’s easy to get pumped up,” Dobbert said. The Cougars will take on the UCLA Bruins again Saturday, Jan. 17, at 7:00 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.

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