PROV, Utah – No. 7 UC Irvine fell to No. 3 BYU, 3-0 (21-25, 18-25, 26-28) in a non-conference contest at Smith Fieldhouse Saturday.
Senior Thomas Hodges led UC Irvine (7-3) with eight kills, while senior Tamir Hershko had seven kills and five digs. Aaron Koubi saw his first action of the season with five kills and two blocks. Setter Michael Saeata had four kills, hitting .667 (4-0-6) and 26 set assists and middle blocker Matthew Younggren added four kills and four blocks. Libero Dillon Hoffman recorded a match-best nine digs.
The Anteaters were out-hit .189 (32-18-74) to .333 (38-14-72) and out-blocked 8.5 to 6.0.
Jake Langlois and Ben Patch paced BYU with 12 kills apiece. Langlois also had a team-high four blocks.
BYU had back-to-back aces to open a 6-4 lead in the first set. Three Anteater errors extended the Cougar advantage to 13-7. UCI rallied to get to 21-19, but a block on the next point killed the momentum as BYU won the set 25-21.
Set two was all BYU as they won 25-18 before an exciting set three was a back-and-forth affair. UCI went up 18-15 on two kills by Thomas Hodges, only to watch the Cougars tie the set 20-20 and move back in front 21-20 on a Jake Langlois kill. The teams would be deadlocked at 24-24 and again at 26-26, before BYU would secure the match on two Anteater errors, 28-26.
UCI will travel to Cal Baptist Wednesday (Feb. 1) for a 7:00 p.m. contest before returning home to host USC Friday (Feb. 3) at 7:00 p.m. at the Bren Events Center.