BYU men’s volleyball takes second match at UC Santa Barbara, avoids sweep

Ari Davis
Phil Fuchs celebrates with his team after winning the second set in a match against UCLA at home on Jan. 17. (Ari Davis)

The BYU men’s volleyball team escaped a two-match sweep at the hands of UC Santa Barbara, pulling out a narrow 3-2 win over the Gauchos Saturday night in Goleta, California.

A kill and a block by Kiril Meretev started the first set, while more kills from him and Jake Langlois kept BYU ahead 14-10. UCSB worked to catch up, but kills from Tim Dobbert helped the Cougars hold on to the lead. Blocks and a kill from Langlois helped BYU take the first set 25-20.

Langlois led all Cougars with 17 kills.

The second set began with kills from Meretev and Dobbert. An ace from Meretev kept BYU ahead 4-2, but UC Santa Barbara caught up to tie the set 4-4. BYU pulled ahead and widened the gap, leading 13-7 with four blocks by Michael Hatch and a kill from Langlois. Langlois and Hatch helped the Cougars hold on to a solid seven-point lead over UCSB and ultimately take the set 25-18.

UCSB’s Jonah Seif’s fourth ace of the night gave the team a 2-0 lead to begin the third set. Kills from Langlois helped to keep BYU close behind, but Santa Barbara managed to make a big comeback, this time leading 17-11. The third set went to UC Santa Barbara 25-19.

Meretev started off the fourth set with another ace, but UCSB still led 5-3. Back-to-back kills from Langlois tied the set 5-5. Despite multiple kills from Matt Underwood, UC Santa Barbara pulled ahead, leading 22-14, and won the third set 25-19.

Back-to-back kills again from Langlois kept the final set tied 3-3. Hatch and Meretev helped BYU hold on to the lead, but kills from Langlois gave the Cougars the set with a score of 15-13 and the match 3-2.

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