No. 1 BYU Defeats UC San Diego for First Win of Season


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San Diego, Calif. - The No. 1 BYU men's volleyball team kicked off the 2008 season with a bang Friday night in San Diego with a 3-1 victory over UC San Diego and will look to remain perfect through the weekend with another match at UCSD on Saturday.

Senior opposite Jonathan Charette, a native of Fullerton, Calif., led the team with 16 kills, a .375 hitting percentage and nine digs. All-American senior middle blocker Russell Holmes of Fountain Valley, Calif., had nine kills and a .429 hitting percentage.

"It was a battle," BYU interim head coach Shawn Patchell said after the match. "We got the 'W' in the end, so we're pleased. We were up in the third game, but they caught all the momentum and made big plays when they needed to. In the fourth we were behind. Our seniors played like seniors in the end and led the way in a very tightly contested set."

BYU controlled the first match and won 30-21, but UCSD kept the next three games close. The Cougars won the second match 30-28, but dropped the third 27-30. In the forth and final match BYU tightened its play and won 31-29, preventing UCSD from forcing the first fifth game ever between the two teams. The Cougars retain a perfect record against the Tritons and improve to 23-0 all-time against the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponent.

Starting setter and 2007's National Newcomer of the Year Yamil Perez went down with an injury in the fourth game, but Patchell praised senior setter Brian Congelliere for his performance in taking Perez' place on the court.

Neither Ivan Perez nor Joel Silva were in attendance at the match as both are currently playing for their respective national teams of Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Patchell also credited sophomore outside hitter Mat Taylor of Orem, Utah and Leandro Silva of Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil for starting in place of Ivan Perez and Silva and performing well.

"We missed those guys," Patchell said. "They're good enough to play on their national teams, but the guys that filled in for them stepped up and came through for us when we needed them to."

Saturday's match in San Diego is set to start at 7 p.m. PST.

Article courtesy of BYU athletics.

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