The second-seeded Anteaters won the first set on a disputed kill by Kyle Russell.
BYU had an 8-1 run to take command in the second set with an 11-4 lead before Irvine's Connor Hughes had a resounding kill to begin a run by the Anteaters. They scored five consecutive points to close the gap to 11-9 and force BYU into a timeout. The Cougars' Ben Patch stopped the streak with a kill.
But a service ace from Scott Kevorken tied the set at 12-12, and UC Irvine took a 16-15 lead on a Zack La Cavera kill. Another La Cavera kill gave the Anteaters an 18-16 lead, but his service error drew BYU to within 18-17. The Anteaters eventually took the second set, 25-22, with the winning point coming when Kevorken and La Cavera blocked a BYU hit.
The Anteaters clung to a 15-14 lead in the third set when BYU called timeout after a big Irvine block. The Cougars then squandered three set points after taking a 24-21 lead.
Following a block by Chris Austin and Kevorken to put the Anteaters ahead, 25-24, Hughes put in a big serve that left BYU players sprawling on match point.