MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: One night removed from a close five-set victory over the reigning national champions, the No. 3-ranked BYU men's volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss (34-32, 30-26, 30-23) at the hands of No. 11 UC Irvine on Friday night at Irvine, Calif.
With the loss, the Cougars fall to 7-4 on the season and 5-3 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play.
Despite the sweep, two Cougars recorded double-digit kills, including Andrew Stewart with a match-high 15 and Robb Stowell with 12. Stowell also added a career-high three service aces.
Both teams picked up where they left off on Thursday, alternating points scored in the first set. Russell Lavaja recorded his second service ace of the night, capping a 3-0 BYU run, to give his team the 15-12 lead. Stewart, Stowell and Kevin Sagers provided kills, but the Anteaters fought back to tie the score at 27-27. UCI pulled ahead after a kill by All-American Carson Clark. It took both teams a combined five set-point attempts before the Anteaters claimed the 34-32 win.
UCI's momentum continued in the second set, as it led by as many as eight points. Coming out of a BYU timeout, Stewart knocked down back-to-back kills, followed by attacks from Kent Tuttle and Futi Tavana, allowing the Cougars to climb back to within four at 20-16. Another kill by UCI's Clark brought up set point for the Anteaters, while the Cougars attempted a late comeback. Stowell hit an ace, which capped a 3-0 run, but it was too late, as Clark converted his 10th attack of the night allowing UCI to go up two sets to zero.
The third set started nearly identical to the second, as the Cougars found themselves trailing early. Stowell recorded back-to-back aces tie the score at 13-13, but the Anteaters capitalized on several BYU errors to go back up 20-17. Lavaja and Stewart added kills in an effort to create some momentum, but additional service errors halted their efforts. Down 23-20, Stowell and Tavana knocked down consecutive kills, narrowing the Anteater lead to one point. UCI scored the next five points, however, securing the sweep after Clark's solo block.
The Cougars have a week off before returning to action on Feb. 19-20 for a two-match weekend series at No. 13 UC San Diego.
INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD: BYU sophomore Sarah Edwards set the meet record in the women's 1,000 meters, clocking 2:48.50 at the 10th annual New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory Track & Field Center on Friday. Edwards broke the mark of 2:51.73, set by Theresa Rush of Villanova in 2007, by more than three seconds.
The two-day event, the largest indoor invitational collegiate meet in the country with more than 200 teams, concludes today.
The women's 5,000 meters was won by Neely Spence of Shippensburg (Pa.) in 16:13.01. She is the daughter of Steve Spence, who finished 12th in the marathon at the 1992 Olympics and took the bronze medal at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.