Depleted No. 8/8 UCLA pulls off road upset of No. 1/1 BYU

Photo courtesy of UCLA athletics

So much for the notion that No. 1/1 BYU is unbeatable.

No. 8/8 UCLA down multiple starters because coronavirus protocols upset BYU 25-22, 25-21, 15-25, 25-22 on Thursday in Provo, Utah.

The Bruins limited the Cougars to a .168 attack percentage, including a match-low .062 attack percentage in the final game. BYU, which ended last season second in the nation hitting .358, was without Preseason All-American setter Wil Stanley who suffered an injury days before this season opener.

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Freshman outside attacker Ethan Champlin in his second college start led UCLA with both 11 kills and nine digs.In addition, Champlin and Adam Parks playing out of position at middle attacker both had a team-high five blocks.

UCLA had three players finish with at least five kills in the program’s first road victory at BYU since 2009. Opposite Austin Matautia had eight kills on a team-best .400 attack percentage, while freshman outside attacker Kyle Vom Steeg added eight kills.

BYU opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez in the loss finished with a match-high 16 kills. However, the 2020 National Player of the Year committed 13 errors and was held to a .075 attack percentage.

Middle attacker Ferreira de Brito also contributed nine kills while hitting .643 and had a match-high six blocks.

With this victory, UCLA moves into a tie with No. 6/6 Pepperdine for first place in the MPSF. The Bruins and Cougars will conclude their two-match series on Saturday.