No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball defeated UCSB in three sets Friday night at home after a two week road trip behind Ben Patch’s 16 kills.
The Cougars started the match trading points with UCSB to a 17-17 start. BYU then pulled away with an 8-3 run to win the set 25-20. Patch, Brenden Sander, and Jake Langlois contributed five, four, and four kills respectively to lead a balanced effort.
UCSB started the second set strong by staying within one of BYU with a score of 9-8. The Cougars then forced a UCSB timeout with a 4-0 run to take a 13-8 lead. The Cougars put the set away with a score of 25-16 behind good blocking from the team.
“We watched a lot of film on them. Our coaches always do a really good job of letting us know guy’s tendencies are, so we just try and get in good spots. When you do that good things happen,” Price Jarman said.
The Gauchos never allowed the Cougars to lead until past the half mark of the third set. The Cougars built on their lead until they had the opportunity to close out the match 24-20. BYU allowed UCSB to fight back to tie the game through service errors, forcing the Cougars to take a timeout.
“I wasn’t very pleased with the missed serve on match point,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “You’ve got a team trying to figure out a way to win here in Provo, you’ve got a good lead. We’ve got to learn how to put pressure on them there. Force your opponent to play the game. Force them to really figure out how they are going to get a point.”
In that timeout Olmstead told the team to just relax and do what they needed to do. The Cougars scored the next point and again had the opportunity to win the match. Langlois took advantage of the opportunity and finished the game with a kill.
The Cougars are set to play UCSB again Saturday night in the Smith Fieldhouse.