Balanced Attack Leads to Three-Game Win

Ron Neilson guided the Cougars to a 3-0 win over the UC Irvine Anteaters, setting the BYU offense to a .436 hitting percentage and 56 kills. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- BYU took control early and rode the momentum to a 3-0 (30-28, 30-24, 30-26) win over UC Irvine Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse to complete a weekend sweep of the Anteaters and improve to 9-6 overall and 4-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Irvine is now 6-12 and 4-9.

BYU Coach Tom Peterson said his team played much better Saturday after an error-filled win Friday. He credited the improvement to better team chemistry on the court.

"I asked the guys what they thought and they said they were having fun," Peterson said. "The atmosphere on the court was different tonight. They felt they liked each other again and didn't get frustrated."

After a close game one, BYU took control and rode the momentum through games two and three to finish the sweep. The Cougars again relied on a balanced attack as four players recorded double-digit kills. Ivan Perez was the leader with 13 and Taylor Evans was next with 12. Michael Burke and Casey Patterson had 10 each while Victor Batista, again playing middle blocker, had eight. Burke was again on fire, finishing without an error and hitting a blazing .769 (10-0-13). He also registered the winning kill in each game.

"It's huge for out opposite hitter, Casey Patterson, to have a good night," Peterson said. "When we get everyone involved and hitting for good percentages, we are a tough team."

Rob Neilson guided the Cougar attack to an impressive .436 hitting percentage (56-12-101). He also added three kills and a match-high seven digs. Brian Rowley and Perez added six digs apiece, helping BYU keep the Anteater hitters in check.

Jayson Jablonsky was UC Irvine's main offensive weapon as he recorded 17 kills and a .481 hitting percentage. Former Cougar Steffin Rangel had eight kills on the night. As a team, the Anteaters hit .309 (45-16-94) and recorded 26 digs and six team blocks.

In the first, BYU came out hitting, registering 20 kills while recording a .429 (20-5-35) hitting percentage. The game remained tight throughout however, as the Anteaters benefited from seven Cougar service errors. Down 25-27, BYU took control as Evans started a 5-1 run that Burke ended with a kill down the middle to seal the win, 30-28. Perez led the Cougars with seven kills while Patterson and Evans recorded four each.

The Cougars followed up a tight game one by getting ahead early in the second, jumping out to an 8-4 lead over the Anteaters behind three kills by Evans. BYU kept its momentum going, going on various runs to extend the lead to 12-7 and then 17-10 on another Evans kill. The Anteaters showed signs of life down 28-20, getting as close as 29-24 before falling 30-24 on a kill by Burke. UC Irvine never got a rhythm going, allowing every Cougar on the court to get into the action. Burke, Patterson and Evans recorded six kills each while Batista recorded three and Neilson two. For the game, BYU had 23 kills, hit .513 (23-3-39) and connected on 16 kills before recording a hitting error.

The first half of game three was close with the Cougars managing to stay ahead and take an 18-17 lead. From there BYU caught fire and went on a 9-4 run, which included consecutive aces by Patterson, to go ahead 28-21. UC Irvine managed to get within four at 29-25 but Burke again ended the game with a kill. Perez led the Cougars with six kills for the game while Batista added three.

BYU will look to continue its winning ways against the University of Southern California Trojans next Friday and Saturday, Mar. 4 and 5, in Los Angeles. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. PST.

Volleyball Box Score

Briham Young University - Volleyball

UC Irvine vs Brigham Young (Feb 26, 2005 at Provo, UT)

UC Irvine | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

1 STELLER, Jon........ 2| 4 3 13 .077| 0| 0 1| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0| 4.0

7 THORNTON, Brian..... 3| 1 0 2 .500| 40| 1 0| 1| 6| 0 2 0| 0| 3.0

11 JABLONSKY, Jayson... 3| 17 4 27 .481| 0| 0 3| 1| 6| 1 0 4| 0| 18.0

15 SMITH, Brandon...... 3| 5 1 12 .333| 2| 0 1| 0| 2| 0 1 0| 0| 5.5

21 HARRELL, Aaron...... 3| 5 3 11 .182| 1| 0 1| 1| 0| 0 4 0| 0| 7.0

25 RANGEL, Steffin..... 3| 8 3 20 .250| 0| 1 3| 0| 3| 0 0 0| 0| 9.0

10 SPITTLE, Paul....... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

12 SIMPSON, Brett...... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

13 WEBBER, Matt........ 2| 5 2 9 .333| 0| 0 1| 0| 1| 0 3 0| 0| 6.5

14 MEL, Brandon........ 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 1| 6| 0 0 0| 1| 0.0

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Totals.............. 3| 45 16 94 .309| 45| 2 12| 4| 26| 1 10 4| 1| 53.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 6.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 14 5 31 .290 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 15 4 35 .314 UC Irvine........... (0) 28 24 26 6-12, 4-9 MPSF

3 16 7 28 .321 Brigham Young....... (3) 30 30 30 9-6, 4-4 MPSF

Brigham Young | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

3 BURKE, Michael...... 3| 10 0 13 .769| 0| 1 2| 0| 1| 0 2 1| 0| 12.0

8 PEREZ, Ivan......... 3| 13 4 24 .375| 0| 1 5| 0| 6| 1 2 1| 0| 16.0

9 PATTERSON, Casey.... 3| 10 3 20 .350| 5| 2 3| 0| 4| 0 3 1| 0| 13.5

14 NEILSON, Rob........ 3| 3 0 5 .600| 46| 0 0| 0| 7| 0 0 0| 0| 3.0

15 BATISTA, Victor..... 3| 8 1 17 .412| 0| 0 5| 0| 1| 0 4 3| 0| 10.0

17 EVANS, Taylor....... 3| 12 3 21 .429| 0| 0 3| 1| 3| 0 2 0| 0| 13.0

2 STEWART, Bryan...... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

6 HEYES, Matt......... 3| 0 1 1-1.000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

7 ROWLEY, Brian....... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 2| 0 0| 1| 6| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

11 HOLMES, Russell..... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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Totals.............. 3| 56 12 101 .436| 53| 4 18| 2| 28| 1 13 6| 0| 67.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 7.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 20 5 35 .429 Site: Provo, UT (Smith Fieldhouse)

2 23 3 39 .513 Date: Feb 26, 2005 Attend: 2770 Time: 1H 40M

3 13 4 27 .333 Referees: LES CALLES, MAILE JEWKES

1 2 3 Total

Tie scores 22 1 3 26

Lead changes 7 1 2 10

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Tags: Results