The No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball team defeated No. 9 UC Irvine on the road in three sets behind Ben Patch’s 16 kills. The Cougars are now 5-2 on the season.
“This was a nice team effort,” said BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. “The energy was good and the team stayed the course throughout the match. We got the right hitters going at the right time. Ben was a huge presence for us tonight.”
BYU received support from many fans in California despite being over 600 miles away from Provo. After each big play by the Cougars the loyal fans erupted in cheers.
The Cougars started off the match gaining a lead on UCI and holding on to it through the set to win it 25-20. BYU had 12 kills with a .320 hitting percentage in the set compared to the Anteaters’ nine kills and .130 hitting percentage. Ben Patch recorded five kills in the first set.
UC Irvine came within one point of the Cougars after a BYU service error late in the second set with a score of 24-23. Service errors affected both teams this match. BYU recorded 14 errors while UCI handed the Cougars 17 points from service errors of their own. The Cougars finished the set strong with a Price Jarman kill to take a 2-0 lead.
The Anteaters challenged the Cougars to a 12-12 score in the third set before the Cougars’ 7-2 run to open up a five point lead. Five of BYU’s last six points came from UC Irvine service errors.
BYU is set to play UC Irvine again Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. PST in California.