BYU gave UCLA its first loss in the MPSF conference and second loss overall in a five set thriller (28-26, 25-23, 13-25, 22-25, 18-16). BYU was led by a double-double from Patch, giving the cougars 28 kills (.422) and 11 digs. Jake Langlois put 13 kills on the board and Erik Sikes had 11 digs.
“They served well they served aggressive and kept it close against the best serving team in the country,” said BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. “Today, we were confident.”
Just as expected set one was a battle from the beginning. the Cougars struggled to find a lead and with an ace from Leo Durkin the Smith Fieldhouse let out a sigh of relief as the score tied 7-7.
Then Brenden Sander took over.
Three huge kills from Sander and topped off with a kill and block from Ben Patch gave the Cougars momentum at 17-15. With three more kills from Sander BYU had its first set point at 24-23. The Bruins came back fighting for the set, but the Cougars won 28-26 with a block from Price Jarman and Langlois.
It was Patch’s turn in set two, as he collected eight more kills and six more digs for the Cougars. The entire game was back and forth, with incredible serving and defense from both teams. A kill from Jake Langlois gave BYU a second-set win.
Cougars once started slow to start the set and were unable to dig themselves out of their hole. The Bruins took the third set 25-13.
The Bruins pressured the Cougars early in the fourth set. Despite efforts from Patch and Sander, UCLA hung on to win the set 25-22.
The Cougars snapped out of their slump in the fifth set, taking their first lead in two sets. The BYU fans that packed the Smith Fieldhouse roared as match point swapped between the teams. A block from Jarman sealed the 18-16 win for the Cougars.
BYU and UCLA will clash again on Saturday night at 7 p.m.