No. 3 BYU takes down UCSB in last conference matches

Ari Davis
Brenden Sander, Price Jarman, Tim Dobbert and Wil Stanley celebrate during a match earlier in the season. The Cougars took both matches against the Gauchos. (Ari Davis)

The Cougars (22-3) rallied against the Gauchos (10-15) in four sets Thursday night (24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 25-15), and in three sets on Friday night (25-22, 25-14, 25-21), coming out victorious both nights.

Jake Langlois led the Cougars with 22 kills for both nights with a .500 clip Thursday night. He also collected seven aces on the weekend. Ben Patch put 14 kills on the board on Friday night while Leo Durkin set the team with 77 assists and Eric Sikes contributed 20 digs for both nights.

BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said he was proud of the way the team stayed composed throughout Thursdays match after losing the first initial set.

“We put a tremendous amount of pressure on UC Santa Barbara from the service line and that helped our defense get some good touches,” he said. “Our pin hitters did a great job offensively for us tonight.”

On Thursday night UCSB fought against a 21-24 deficit and its efforts won the fist set. After this loss the Cougars got hungry, taking control of the next three sets and dominating at the service line with nine aces.

On Friday night, pin hitters Langlois, Patch and Brenden Sander went to work again, each hitter making big plays and bringing energy to the court. Eric Sikes stunted the Gaucho offense with 15 digs.

This game concludes conference play and BYU prepares for the long awaited post-season play. The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament will be held at Long Beach State where the Cougars will fight for a bid.

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