Perez Leads No. 1 BYU Over No. 10 IPFW
Fort Wayne, Ind. - Senior All-American Ivan Perez returned to the No. 1 BYU men's volleyball lineup to lead the team to a 3-1 (30-23, 32-30, 23-30, 30-26) win Friday at No. 10 IPFW in front of a capacity crowd in the first of three matches for the Cougars in four days.
BYU improves to 3-0, 2-0 on the year, and IPFW falls to 0-2. Perez hit .588 on the night with 22 kills and only two hitting errors. Joining Perez with double-figure kills were senior Jonathan Charette with 17, and senior Trent Sorensen and sophomore Andrew Stewart with 10 apiece.
"It was very hostile, just how we like it," BYU head coach Shawn Patchell said. "The fans were on the floor for a lot of the game. Ivan played well and did a nice job. He served well and was lights out with two different setters."
The Cougars rolled to a 30-23 win in the first game, but had to battle to a 32-30 win in the second. The capacity crowd, filled with IPFW student-athletes, pushed the Mastodons to a third-game win, but BYU was able to wear IPFW and its energetic crowd down in the fourth.
Midway through the third game Patchell decided to substitute starting setter Brian Congelliere for sophomre Reed Chilton in hopes of offsetting IPFW's charge.
"Brian Congelliere played well, but we needed a pace change," Patchell said. "So we put Reed Chilton in and he did well too. It wasn't that Brian Congelliere was setting poorly, it's just that they picked up on some of his tendencies, so we switched it up."
The switch helped. The Mastodons went up 9-6 early in the fourth game, but the Cougars won the next four points and took a 10-9 lead. The Mastodons came back and took a 12-10 lead, but the Cougars tied the game again at 14-14. IPFW went up for the last time at 17-16, but BYU took control and closed out the match on a block from senior Russell Holmes who finished with six blocks on the night.
"This is a tough win to beat the runner-up from last year," Patchell commented. "Tomorrow night will be tough again because Lewis is a very good team. We're playing on their home court and we need to learn how to make some adjustments quickly."
The match at Lewis on Saturday will be in an arena where the Cougars have never played. Match time is set for 7 p.m. CST with live video and live stats available with links on the BYU men's volleyball schedule page at www.byucougars.com.
Article courtesy of BYU athletics.