BYU’s 18-game home win streak snapped in back to back loses

BYU entered the two matches with an 18-game home winning streak, the second longest for the Cougars in the rally-scoring era. The longest home winning streak was 36, broken in 2015 by UC Irvine. 

Last season, BYU split their series with UCI at the Bren Evans Center. 

UC Irvine was no stranger to Provo, winning two matches last year against Lewis and McKendree while playing on a neutral site. They also played BYU in Provo in 2022 where BYU won both matches. 

Match 1: BYU vs. UC Irvine (1-3)

The Cougars won a close first set 25-22. The set was tied at 22 points when Jon Stanley came in to serve eventually winning three points in a row to win the set. 

Set two was another close one. However, UC Irvine would win 27-25 to even the match 1-1 despite being outhit by BYU. The set featured 15 score ties.

In the third set, BYU hit a lousy .111, giving the Anteaters a 2-1 edge in the match. 

In the fourth set, BYU was down 21-16 when a timeout brought Jon Stanley in. He was able to serve the score back to 21-18 but the Cougars would never recover and lose the fourth set 25-20.

For the Anteaters, Maxim Grigoriev set a career-high in kills with 16. Outside hitter, Conner Dahm, who had not recorded an ace in his career, recorded four aces. 

After the game, BYUtv caught up with Hilir Henno who recorded his season-high 20 kills. 

“I remember two years ago we lost twice so I just wanted revenge. Tomorrow is another day so we will see how tomorrow goes,” Henno said. 

Match 2: BYU vs. UC Irvine (2-3)

The Cougars looked to bounce back in its 74th all-time match against UC Irvine. 

Miks Ramanis had more aces himself in set one than BYU did in all of match one. He would eventually set his career high with five. 

Set one featured 15 ties and four lead changes leading to an eventual BYU win 25-23.

Even after the set one win, BYU would lose the next to and face a 2-1 deficit just like match one. 

Unlike the first match, BYU would bounce back to tie the match. Looking for a spark, head coach Shawn Olmstead put in Ian Little. Little would record his first career kill and second career ace. He would end the match with seven kills. 

In set five, Luke Benson tied his career-high in kills with 21, which he set earlier in the year at Loyola Chicago. 

Fatigue became a factor for BYU. They would lose the final set 15-13.

After playing six matches in nine days, BYU will have nearly two weeks off. They will host Long Island University for two matches on Feb. 8 and 10. 

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