(LOS ANGELES) — UC Irvine swept top-ranked BYU in three sets Saturday night to win its second consecutive NCAA men’s volleyball championship and fourth in seven years. The Anteaters become the first school since 1996 to successful defend their title.
The first set featured 13 ties and 13 lead changes as UC Irvine won, 25-23. In the second set, BYU ran out to an 11-4 lead, but the Anteaters overcame the deficit on a Zack La Cavera kill to take a 16-15 lead. They would go on to win the set, 25-22 when La Cavera and Scott Kevorken blocked a hit by BYU.
In the third set, the Cougars had a 24-21 lead, but lost 26-24 after Connor Hughes secured the championship for UC Irvine with a big serve on match point.
Hughes, La Cavera and Kevin Tillie led the Anteaters with 11 kills.
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Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN