PROVO, Utah --- California Baptist University not only hung with the second-best blocking team in the NCAA, the Lancers grabbed more blocks than No. 3-ranked BYU. The Cougars held on to a 3-0 win, however, taking the sets 25-20, 26-24, 25-22.
As a team, the Lancers—who now sit 4-18 overall and 2-16 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation—tallied eight blocks, compared to BYU’s six. The Cougars improve to 16-4 on the season, 16-2 in conference.
Brett Anderson led CBU with five total blocks on the night, often teaming up with Amir Lugo-Rodriguez, who posted four blocks. Johannes Brink had a stellar game, committing just two errors while racking up 18 kills with a .571 attack percentage.
BYU opened the first set with 13-7 lead, but the Lancers cut into the advantage to put the score at 14-10. The Cougars remained in the lead, however, extending their lead to 22-17 before CBU called a timeout. BYU powered through to score its last three points to take the first set 25-20—the largest margin.
The Lancers battled back in the second, despite finding themselves trailing early on. Down by one at 14-13, CBU scored three-straight points off back-to-back-to-back blocks, including a solo wall set up by Anderson before he teamed up with Lugo-Rodriguez for the next two. The Cougars followed with an attack error to give the Lancers a 17-14 lead.
BYU fought back to tie the set at 21-21 and the two teams kept the set close for the remainder. The Cougars reached set point first, but Joel Blocksom laid down a kill to even the score at 24-24. BYU closed it out with back-to-back points to claim the set 26-24 and hold a 2-0 set advantage.
Looking to finish the match, the Cougars opened the third with a 4-0 lead, but the Lancers battled back to put the score within one at 6-5. BYU kept CBU at an arm’s length, never letting the Lancers break the one-point cushion.
The Cougars reached match point at 24-20, but CBU scored two-straight points to stay alive. It was the last the Lancers would score, however, as BYU ended the set with a 25-22 score to win the match.
CBU returns home for its final two home contests, taking on UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday and UCLA on Thursday, both at 7 p.m.