- UCLA def. BYU, 3-1 (25-22, 24-26, 29-27, 25-19)
- UCLA improves to 26-7; BYU’s season ends at 22-7
- Los Angeles, California
- Attendance: 4249
- Box score
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – For a shot at winning the program’s 20th national championship in men’s volleyball, UCLA had to survive a feisty BYU squad in a long four sets Thursday night (25-22, 24-26, 29-27, 25-19). With the win, UCLA moves on to play #1 Long Beach on Saturday in Pauley Pavilion, which is being nationally televised on ESPN2. This is also the 11th time in Bruin history that UCLA is playing host to their own national championship match, with 9 of the previous 10 times hoisting a championship trophy at the end.
In case you missed it, you can find the recap of the first semifinal here, where Long Beach outlasted two-time defending national champion Ohio State in four sets.
UCLA was led by Christian Hessenauer with an impressive stat line of 14 kills, 8 digs, a match-high 7 blocks and an ace. He was joined in double figures by Daenan Gyimah and Jake Arnitz, who finished with 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Gyimah added 6 blocks and 3 aces to the fray, while Arnitz contributed 8 digs and 2 blocks. Setter Micah Ma’a ran the efficient offense (.336) with 38 assists to go with his 8 digs, 6 kills, 2 blocks and an ace. Dylan Missry went error-free on the attack, 6 kills in 15 swings, and led all defenders with a match-high 11 digs.
The Cougars were led by freshman opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez with a match-high 19 kills on .366 hitting with 9 digs and a block. Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga came off the bench in set 2, after an injury to Cyrus Fa’alogo, with 11 kills on .350 hitting with 5 digs. Brenden Sander played his last collegiate match with 10 kills on the night while adding 3 blocks and 3 digs. Setter Leo Durkin ran the offense with the team’s only double-double; 47 assists and 10 digs. Durkin led the team in both categories.
This match was the third-straight season BYU advanced to the national semifinals. The MPSF regular season and tournament champions will have to replace setter Durkin, outside hitter Sander and middle blocker Price Jarman.
UCLA advances to the national championship for the first time since 2006 and are looking for their first national title under Head Coach John Speraw.
Courtesy of UCLA Athletics
The UCLA men’s volleyball team advanced to the NCAA Championship match with a four-set semifinal win over No. 2 seed BYU on Thursday in Pauley Pavilion. Scores of the match were 25-22, 24-26, 29-27, 25-19. UCLA improves to 19-1 at home this season and will meet No. 1 seed Long Beach State in the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Collegiate Championship match on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.
Christian Hessenauer led the Bruin outside attack with 14 kills and added a career-best seven block assists. Daenan Gyimah (.750) hit at least .500 in a match for the 10th straight time and totaled 13 kills and six block assists. Jake Arnitz was also in double digits with 10 kills. UCLA outhit the Cougars .336 to .320, won the battle at the service line seven to zero and owned the nets to the tune by a margin of 12.0 total team blocks to 7.5.
In set one UCLA moved out to a 7-5 lead after Hessenauer and Oliver Martin teamed up on a block. BYU came back to even the score at 9-all and took the lead with the next point. The Cougars led 12-14 before three straight kills pushed the Bruins into the lead at 15-14. The score was tied at points 16, 17 and 18. Kills by Gyimah and Dylan Missrylifted UCLA into a 20-18 advantage. A Martin and Micah Ma’a block made it 23-21. A Hessenauer kill gave UCLA a 24-22 margin and the set went to Bruins after a Cougar error at 25-22.
In set two, neither team led by more than a point until BYU broke an 11-all tie with a couple of points for an 11-13 edge. UCLA tied it at 14 after a Martin kill. BYU scored the next two before UCLA rallied to even the score at 16-all. It was then back-and-forth until the score was tied at 23-all. UCLA went up 24-23 on a Gyimah kill, but BYU responded with three straight to take the set 24-26.
UCLA opened up a 4-1 lead to start set three. BYU came back to tie the score at 7-all. The Cougars broke a 9-all deadlock with three straight to make it 9-12. An ace by Gyimah leveled the score at 15’s and then a second ace pushed UCLA into the lead at 16-15. BYU came back to knot the score at 18-each and went on to move in front 19-22. The Bruins scored the next three to pull even, but had to fight off three set points down the stretch. A Cougar service error tied the score at 24’s. A Martin kill tied the score at 25’s. A Missry kill tied the score at 26’s. Grant Maleski‘s ace put UCLA at set point 27-26, but a service error followed to make it 27-all. Kills from Arnitz and Hessenauer ended the set at 29-27.
In the fourth set, UCLA jumped to a 7-4 lead. BYU closed to 10-9 but could not get even. An Arnitz kill and a Hessenauer/Gyimah block resulted in a 13-9 Bruin lead. After the Cougars cut the lead to 17-15, Arnitz delivered another kill and a BYU error followed to put UCLA in front 19-15. A Gyimah smash made it 22-17 before the Bruins pulled away to a 25-19 win.
It is the 11th straight win by a Bruin team in an NCAA semifinal match held in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA has captured the NCAA title in nine of the previous 10 championship matches held in Pauley (only loss 2005). The Bruins have won 19 NCAA men’s volleyball titles in all.
Courtesy of BYU Athletics
LOS ANGELES – BYU men’s volleyball fell in four sets (25-22, 24-26, 29-27, 25-19) to host UCLA Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
“Congrats to UCLA for advancing and moving on,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I don’t know if I have the exact words for these guys, but I’m proud of them. To think that this group is even here in this moment right now is incredible. I’m glad that they were able to be here.”
Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the Cougars with 19 kills to go with nine digs. Leo Durkin set the team with 47 assists and contributed 10 digs for a double-double. Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga collected 11 kills off the bench, while Brenden Sander and Price Jarman added 10 and six, respectively.
BYU (22-7) got the first point of the first set with a kill from Fernandez. UCLA (26-7) inched ahead at 6-4 with a block, but back-to-back kills by Cyrus Fa’alogo and Fernandez pushed the Cougars in front 10-9. The Bruins went on a 4-1 run to get ahead 15-14, and consecutive kills from UCLA forced Olmstead to take a timeout with BYU trailing 20-18. The Bruins continued to maintain their advantage from there, taking the set 25-22 on a Cougar attack error.
A dump kill from Durkin evened the score at 5-5 to start the second set. BYU took the lead again at 12-11 following a Felipe de Brito Ferreira solo block. A kill from Fernandez kept the Cougars in the lead at 17-16, but the Bruins scored four of the next six points to take a 21-20 edge. UCLA had set point at 24-23, but three-straight Fernandez kills gave BYU the set 26-24 to even the match.
The Bruins jumped out to a 6-2 lead at the beginning of the third set, forcing a Cougar timeout along the way. Fa’agata-Tufuga scored three-straight points with kills to keep BYU in the set, trailing 6-5. Sander picked up a pair of kills to push the Cougars in front 9-8. BYU increased its lead to 13-10 following a kill from Ferreira, but UCLA came back to reclaim the advantage at 16-15 after consecutive aces. A 4-1 Cougar run, capped off by a Sander kill, pushed BYU back in front at 20-18. The Cougars had set point three times in a tight battle down the stretch before the Bruins ultimately prevailed to take the set 29-27.
UCLA went up 5-2 early in the fourth set and stayed ahead 10-7 after a pair of kills. BYU got within a point, trailing 10-9, but the Bruins quickly scored the next three points to go up by four, 13-9. The Cougars called timeout to regroup after trailing 19-15, but it wasn’t enough as the Bruins went on to take the set 25-19 on an ace, winning the match 3-1 on their home court.
The Cougars finish the season having advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA tournament for third-straight season. Heading into next season, the Cougars will look to replace three starters—Durkin, Jarman and Sander—from this year’s MPSF regular-season and tournament champion team.