Last weekend saw one of the most peculiar finishes to a men’s volleyball match in recent memory.
Late in the fifth set of a crucial match between No. 4 BYU and No. 3 UCLA in UCLA’s John Wooden Center Friday night, BYU was serving match point 16-15 and appeared to hit the game-winning service ace to take the match.
The line judge ruled the serve out, but the referee overruled the call and signaled for a BYU point.
However, UCLA coach Al Scates disputed the official’s call, believing the ball landed out of bounds.
After a lengthy delay in the match discussing the call, officials overturned the ruling and called it a BYU service error, giving the point to UCLA and leaving the match tied at 16.
UCLA then went on to win the match 20-18.
Or at least they had it won until Saturday afternoon.
BYU filed a protest with the MPSF and the protest was granted, thus ordering the match to be replayed at 16-16 from the night before.
The replayed portion of Friday night’s match was played before Saturday night’s second match of the weekend series between the two schools.
When play resumed, BYU scored two straight points to clinch the match 18-16.
Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said he’s curious to know what rule BYU protested, in case his team ever runs into the same situation.
“I’m looking for the explanation of the protest,” Pavlik said. “ I’m curious, because I wanna know what was protested, simply just if I’m ever in a situation like that.”
Pavlik said a protest only occurs when there is a misapplication of the rule or a misinterpretation of the rule.
Pavlik said you can’t protest a judgment call, such as whether or not a ball landed in or out of play.
“It’s kinda like protesting balls and strikes or holding in the NFL,” Pavlik said.
It was the first time in Pavlik’s career where he had seen part of a match been replayed.
“I don’t even think I’ve seen a match suspended due to a leak in the roof or something where they couldn’t continue it,” Pavlik said.
What Pavlik takes away from the controversial match is the need to give officials flags rather than use hand signals to make a call.
Uncoincidentally, officials were using flags the following night for the conclusion of the match and the regularly scheduled second game.
"I think the flag is there for ease of communication,” Pavlik said.