March 29, 2008
PROVO, Utah - A day after almost upsetting No. 4 Brigham Young, the 14th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team was blanked 3-0 by the Cougars Saturday at Smith Fieldhouse. For the third straight season, BYU has swept the regular season series against the Gauchos.
Saturday's went 30-20, 30-28, and 30-28. UCSB fell to 9-14 overall and 6-12 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Brigham Young upped its overall record to 19-14 and is now 14-3 in the league.
UCSB took BYU to five games Friday night, but ultimately lost 3-2. The last time the Gauchos topped the Cougars was in April of 2005 in the MPSF Tournament. The Cougars have won the last six meetings.
Redshirt freshman Jeff Robinson banged a match-high 18 kills while hitting .517. Three Cougars record double-digit kill totals as Ivan Perez had 12 and Jonathan Charette added 11.
Both squads hit over .300 with Brigham Young at .396 and Santa Barbara at .310. The Gauchos ended up out-blocking the Cougars 10 to 5.
No Gauchos had more than ten kills. Opposite Jeff Menzel and outside Mike Runkle led with eight apiece. Menzel , who had had more attack attempts in all but two matches entering tonight, had 14 and outside Mike Fisher ended with a team-high 18 sets. Fisher had seven kills, three digs and two blocks.
UCSB came out and hit strong at .429 in game one, but it wasn't nearly enough as BYU swung at .667.
Both teams were evenly matched in game two, which featured 17 tie scores. UCSB was within one point at 29-28 in the set, but a service error gave the game to the Cougars.
The third set was tight until the Cougars started to pull away mid-way through. They led by as much as six at 24-18 before the Gauchos pulled two straight points on kils by Matt Thobe and Runkle. Santa Barbara would get within one at 27-26 on a BYU attack error and tie the game at 27 on another Cougar hitting miscue. Brigham Young came right to score two straight on a Holmes kill and a block by Holmes and Reed Chilton. Following a UCSB timeout, the Gauchos brought the score to 29-28 in favor of BYU after a service error. However, an attack error by the Gauchos gave the game and the match to the Cougars.
UCSB plays at UCLA Apri 2 (7 p.m.) before returning to Santa Barbara to host its final three home matches of the season.
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