Champlin back at outside spearheads No. 4/3 UCLA comeback win

Photo courtesy of UCLA athletics

Ethan Champlin started the match at libero and ended leading No. 4/3 UCLA offensively in a comeback win.

Champlin after switching positions and being reinserted to the lineup midway through the third game finished with a match-high 14 kills on a .650 attack percentage as UCLA beat No. 8/9 BYU 25-21, 21-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-10 on Saturday in Provo, Utah.

The senior in the decisive fifth game led all players with six kills, including back-to-back kills midway through the game to give UCLA a three-point lead it would not relinquish. Champlin also had a game-high eight kills in the fourth game to help the Bruins rally from a one-game deficit and secure a split in the two-match series.

Along with the offensive performance, Champlin was among the team leaders with six digs in front of a road crowd of 5,024 people.


Champlin last season was a finalist for the Kiraly Karch Award as the nation’s top outside attacker and started this season at outside attacker. Coach John Speraw, though, opted to move Champlin to libero for the last four matches to help improve the Bruins’ serve receive.

UCLA in the victory out-hit BYU .296 to .198 and had a match-best .652 attack percentage while not committing an attack error in the fourth game. In addition, the Bruins hit .438 in the final game.

Chmplin was one of two Bruins with double-digit kills. Opposite Ido David had 10 kills with five of those kills coming in the opening-game win.

The Bruins overcame having a season-high 32 service errors and finished with eight aces – five more aces than the Cougars.

BYU opposite Mike Ramanis in the loss had a team-high 12 kills, while middle attacker Teon Taylor added nine kills on a .429 attack percentage.

Setter Tyler Herget along with running the BYU offense led all players defensively with both 12 digs and four blocks.

UCLA with this victory remains one-match behind No. 2/2 Grand Canyon for first place in the MPSF. The Bruins entered this road series tied for first place but dropped into second place following a five-game loss to the Cougars in the series opener on Friday.