No. 1 BYU Tops Pacific, Regains Top Spot in MPSF

3/1/2008

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Provo, Utah - The No. 3 men's volleyball team (14-1, 9-1) completed a weekend sweep against Pacific (1-16, 1-13) Saturday in a three-set win (30-24, 30-28, 30-20), propelling the Cougars back into the top spot in the talented Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

The sweep marks the fourth of the season in total for the Cougars and second in as many nights against the Tigers. The win moves BYU into first place in the MPSF with the best winning percentage with Long Beach State in second place.

"The MPSF is a great conference to play in," BYU head coach Shawn Patchell said. "There is not a lot of difference between the team with the most wins and the team with the least. We respect Pacific a lot. They're a great serving team, and they give everyone they play a tough time."

Patchell's squad was led offensively by senior outside hitter Ivan Perez with 15 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Senior opposite Jonathan Charette was not far behind with 12 kills on 23 swings. The setting tandem of senior Brian Congelliere and sophomore Yamil Perez also set the team to a combined .390 attack percentage. Defensively, the front line racked up eight total team blocks and held Pacific to a .153 attack percentage as a team.

Midway through the first set Pacific had the upper hand, up 14-12. BYU gained the advantage at 17-16 on a kill from Ivan Perez, though, and did not relinquish that advantage again. Ivan Perez led the Cougars with six kills on seven swings, and senior middle blocker Russell Holmes had two block assists. Senior middle blocker Trent Sorensen ended the set with a service ace for a first-set win at 30-24.

The second set was a tighter contest than the first. Neither team led by more than two points at any given time. Perez had another six kills and Holmes another two blocks. Charette chipped in his own five kills in the game and BYU won the set 30-28 on Ivan Perez' 12th kill of the match.

The third set was all Cougars. The team hit .611 collectively in the set with three total team blocks compared to the Tigers' .029 attack percentage and zero total team blocks. Congelliere tallied 13 assists in the set to seven different Cougars, and BYU took the deciding set 30-20.

Next weekend the Cougars will finish a three-week home stint against MPSF rival Pepperdine. Start times for matches on both Friday and Saturday will be 7 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

Article courtesy of BYU athletics.

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