PROVO — It's almost always a great matchup when the BYU men's volleyball team takes on UCLA, and this weekend's matchups certainly look to add to the the rich rivalry between the two perennially top programs.
The no. 4-ranked Cougars (7-2, 2-1 MPSF) host the no. 2 Bruins (9-1, 6-0 MPSF) Friday at the Smith Fieldhouse, and then again on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m. with Friday's match televised live on BYUtv.
The Cougars will look to rebound from last Friday's heartbreaking loss to UC Irvine. Down two sets to none, they rallied to take the Anteaters to a fifth set, before narrowly losing at the end. They did rally to sweep the No. 7 Anteaters the next night, and will work to continue with that momentum against the Bruins.
Doing as much won't be easy, with what UCLA is bringing to Provo.
The Bruins have swept seven of their nine matches played, which includes straight set wins over top programs such as Penn State and Loyola of Chicago. Their only loss on the year was to defending champion Ohio State.
The Cougars last squared off against the Bruins for last season's MPSF championship, a match BYU came away with to earn a no. 1 seed for the NCAA championships.
Overall the series between the Bruins and Cougars is tied at 31-31 matches, although the Cougars have come out on top the last five matches played.
The Bruins are led by 6-foot-7 outside hitter Jake Arnitz and his team-leading 31 kills. The Cougars are fronted by fearsome pin-hitters such as 6-foot-10 senior Jake Langlois and 6-foot-9 junior Ben Patch. Langlois is coming off two stellar outings against the Anteaters, against whom he averaged 3.63 kills per set, 1.13 digs, 0.88 blocks and 0.63 service aces.
The late Carl McGown, BYU's former men’s volleyball head coach, will be honored prior to the start of Friday’s tilt.
Friday's match will be televised live on BYUtv while Saturday's match will be streamed live on TheW.tv.