Another Five-Set Win Against Long Beach

Redshirt freshman Futi Tavana recorded his second double-double in as many nights with 14 kills and 13 blocks against the 49ers. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)


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PROVO -- The No. 8 BYU men’s volleyball team notched another tough five-set win (30-18, 29-31, 30-24, 33-35, 15-13) over No. 5 Long Beach State on Saturday, improving to 13-8 on the season and 9-5 in MPSF play.

“We had to grind it out tonight,” said BYU head coach Shawn Patchell. “The win was a little ugly, but that’s a sign of maturity and that’s big for a team with no seniors. We were able to work through the low spots tonight.”

Junior opposite Kent Tuttle led BYU, knocking down a career-high 23 kills against the 49ers. Outside hitters Andrew Stewart and Alex Da Pron contributed 17 kills apiece, while redshirt freshman Futi Tavana recorded his second double-double in as many nights with 14 kills and 13 blocks. His 13 blocks set a new career high. Junior setter Yamil Perez also set a new career high with 73 assists.

The first set was all BYU as the Cougars never found themselves trailing. Offensively Tuttle, Stewart, Tavana and Da Pron accounted for 12 of the Cougars’ 19 kills in the set with four apiece. BYU was ahead by as many as 11 points after a kill by Russell Lavaja. Joe Kauliakamoa subbed in to serve on set point, recording an ace for the win. As a team BYU recorded an impressive .792 hitting percentage compared to Long Beach State’s .125 percentage.

17 tied scores was the story in set two. BYU struggled from the service line midway through the set, giving the 49ers 10 points off the miscues. Trailing 23-21, the Cougars went on a 4-0 run off of kills by Stewart, Da Pron and Tavana. Again tied 29-29, Long Beach State’s Dean Bittner, the reigning AVCA National Player of the Week, knocked down his 11th kill of the night. The 49ers won the set after a BYU attack error.

Stewart continued to dominate in the third set, recording three consecutive kills to give BYU an early 9-8 advantage. Not to be outdone, the Cougar defense picked up three quick blocks to extend the team lead to four points. Long Beach State’s only answer was Bittner who accounted for 10 of his team’s 15 kills in the set. Two Tuttle knockdowns followed by a 49er service error put BYU up 2-1.

Both teams struggled from the service line in the fourth set, keeping any momentum from building. Coming out of a timeout and trailing 20-19, the Cougars scored three quick points off Tuttle and Da Pron kills, as well as a joint block by Stewart and Otavio Souza. Both teams traded points back-and-forth, unable to pull away. Tavana made his 10th kill of the night after a long rally, which included a play off the Fieldhouse rafters. It took six match-point attempts before the 49ers secured the 35-33 win. Bittner scored all of the final five points for Long Beach State and totaled 42 kills on the night.

“I really enjoyed watching Bittner play tonight,” said Patchell. “He was definitely the player of the match. We couldn’t stop him.”

Down 7-2 early in the fifth set, BYU rallied to close the gap. Two blocks and two kills by Tavana tied the score at 10-10. Several attack errors proved fatal for the 49ers down the stretch as the Cougars edged closer and closer to a win. Da Pron finished the night with one final kill to force match point.

“We’re peaking at the right time,” said Patchell. “After those tough road losses at UC Santa Barbara and USC I kept telling people that I love this team—all 18 of them. They all work extremely hard.”

Up next BYU prepares to host UCLA for a pair of matches on March 27-28. Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m. MT in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Volleyball Box Score

Brigham Young Univ. Cougar VolleyBall

#5 LBSU 49ers vs #8 BYU Cougars (Mar 21, 2009 at Smith Fieldhouse)

LBSU 49ers | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

## Name GP| K E TA PCT| A| SA SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2 Baughman, Jim....... 5| 7 3 18 .222| 0| 0 4| 0| 1| 0 6 1| 0

5 Klipsch, Mike....... 5| 2 0 2 1.000| 66| 0 0| 0| 5| 0 5 0| 0

6 Friend, Kyle........ 5| 9 7 24 .083| 0| 0 2| 1| 6| 1 2 1| 0

9 Riley, Josh......... 2| 0 2 2-1.000| 0| 0 1| 1| 0| 0 0 1| 0

10 Shea, Luke.......... 5| 2 3 7 -.143| 1| 0 1| 0| 2| 0 1 1| 0

18 Bittner, Dean....... 5| 42 9 69 .478| 1| 1 8| 0| 3| 0 1 3| 0

3 Watten, Dustin...... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 0| 12| 0 0 0| 0

4 Pestolesi, Tommy.... 5| 8 7 20 .050| 2| 1 4| 2| 3| 0 3 0| 0

13 Trent, Derrick...... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 3| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

14 Fabry, Daniel....... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

23 Nadazdin, Srdjan.... 2| 2 0 2 1.000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 2 0| 0

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Totals.............. 5| 72 31 144 .285| 71| 2 24| 4| 32| 1 20 7| 0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 11.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 11 8 24 .125 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 TEAM RECORDS

2 14 3 30 .367 LBSU 49ers.......... (2) 18 31 24 35 13 10-10;7-8;MPSF

3 15 5 26 .385 BYU Cougars......... (3) 30 29 30 33 15 13-8;9-5;MPSF

4 23 8 45 .333

5 9 7 19 .105

BYU Cougars | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

## Name GP| K E TA PCT| A| SA SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 TUTTLE, Kent........ 5| 23 8 39 .385| 0| 0 6| 0| 6| 1 2 2| 0

5 LAVAJA, Russell..... 5| 6 2 12 .333| 0| 1 3| 0| 2| 0 4 3| 0

14 PEREZ, Yamil........ 5| 1 0 1 1.000| 73| 0 6| 0| 0| 0 6 0| 0

15 STEWART, Andrew..... 5| 17 4 30 .433| 0| 1 1| 1| 7| 0 6 3| 0

17 TAVANA, Futi........ 5| 14 0 22 .636| 0| 0 3| 0| 1| 0 13 0| 0

23 DA PRON, Alex....... 5| 17 4 34 .382| 0| 0 7| 1| 5| 0 7 3| 0

3 CHILTON, Reed....... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 2| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

4 SILVA, Joel......... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 9| 0 0 0| 0

8 KAULIAKAMOA, Joe.... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 2 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

9 SOUZA, Otavio....... 1| 0 1 1-1.000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 1 0| 0

18 HIAPO, BJ........... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Totals.............. 5| 78 19 139 .424| 73| 4 28| 2| 30| 1 39 11| 0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 20.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 19 0 24 .792 Site: Smith Fieldhouse (Elaine Michaelis)

2 19 6 34 .382 Date: Mar 21, 2009 Attend: 2085 Time: 2H 46M

3 18 3 29 .517 Referees: DAPHNE NELSEN, BURT FULLER, TRENT MANO

4 15 8 38 .184

5 7 2 14 .357

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Tags: Results