No. 1 BYU Survive 3-2 Over Lewis

1/19/2008

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Romeoville, Ill. - Senior All-American Ivan Perez led the No. 1 BYU volleyball team to a 3-2 (23-30, 30-18, 26-30, 30-20, 15-13) victory Saturday night over Lewis University. For the second night in a row, Perez alone claimed 20 kills.

"Winning tonight in a very close match proves that we have worked on poise and can make plays when it counts," said BYU Head Coach Shawn Patchell.

In addition to his 20 kills, Perez hit .368 and grabbed 11 digs against the Flyers.

"[Ivan] Perez is kind of our go-to when we need to score points," Patchell said. "Reed [Chilton] did a nice job distributing the ball to him, but it wasn't obvious that we went to Perez exclusively. Perez improved his passing tonight and that is what helped us win the game."

Two other Cougars enjoyed double-digit figures on the night. Senior Russell Holmes claimed 13 kills and Freshman Daniel Wright had 15 of his own. Trent Sorensen, senior, followed with nine kills and hit .750. As a team, the Cougars had 66 kills, 38 digs, 65 assists and hit .328.

The Cougars found it difficult to keep up with the Flyers' energy in the first game, trailing the entire game. Though BYU made one last attempt, going on an unanswered five-point run, the Cougars ended up falling short (23-30).

BYU found its rhythm in game two. With a .328 attack percentage, BYU solidified its 30-18 win with a kill by Wright. BYU scored the first point of game three, but Lewis found its momentum and never looked back. The Cougars stayed within five points the entire game, but the effort to stay with the Flyers was not enough to take game three (26-30).

Jumping out to an early lead in game four, BYU solidified a 30-20 win with 14 kills respectively. Lewis quickly took control in game five. BYU fought to close the gap. The Cougars tied the game at 13-13 and took the lead with a kill by Perez, his 20th of the game. The Cougars solidified the match victory with a 15-13 win.

"Lewis played incredibly well," Patchell said. "They played almost flawless, and they played well enough to beat BYU. I am proud of my guys. They hung in there and played phenomenal tonight.

The Cougars will continue road play Monday, Jan. 21, as they face No. 14 Loyola-Chicago at 7 p.m. CST.

Article courtesy of BYU athletics.

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