Battle of the Best in Senior Weekend

Senior outside hitter Kevin Sagers. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

The No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team (20-7, 14-6 MPSF) hosts No. 3 Cal State Northridge (20-7, 14-6 MPSF) for a two-match series on Friday and Saturday nights at the Smith Fieldhouse for the last two home games of the regular season. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. MT.

Holding a tiebreaker over Stanford, the Cougars can share the regular season title and earn a No. 1 seed with two home wins over CSUN this weekend, along with one loss by the Cardinal. BYU at least clinches home court in the quarterfinals with two wins, or a split coupled with one loss by either Pepperdine or Hawaii.

The Matadors joined to tie the Cougars this week for second in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation as well as having identical overall and conference records. BYU stays at No. 2 in the AVCA poll with one first-place vote. With the longest win streak in the Nation at 10, the Cougars have swept their opponents since March 12.

Cal State Northridge is tied for second with BYU in the MPSF and are tied for third with Pepperdine in the AVCA after defeating UCSB last Wednesday 3-2 and then-No. 9 Penn State Saturday 3-0. They are currently on a four-game win streak, including a win against No. 1 Stanford.

SERIES INFO

BYU holds a 25-19 lead in the series between these two teams dating back to April 11, 1990. The Cougars hold a 15-7 record at home in the Smith Fieldhouse while the Matadors edge BYU 9-11 on their home court. On neutral courts the teams are 1-1. BYU has won seven of the last ten matches—including five consecutive—but has lost to CSUN in the last four matches. Of those seven wins, only one has gone to five sets. The Cougars last faced the Matadors on Jan. 8, falling 3-1 at the UCSB Elephant Bar Tournament. Between 1997-2003 the Cougars recorded a series-leading 12-match win streak over the Matadors, including nine sweeps.

MATCH COVERAGE

Live stats are available at the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page at www.byucougars.com. Gametracker can be launched by clicking on the “Live Stats” link for the appropriate game on the schedule.

COMING OFF...

Extending its winning streak to 10 games, the BYU men’s volleyball team defeated Cal Baptist 3-0 Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday, the Cougar attack was led by sophomore Robb Stowell posting 14 kills at .619 hitting while senior Andrew Stewart tallied 11 kills. Senior setter Reed Chilton chalked up 38 assists and three digs while junior libero BJ Hiapo led the Cougars on defense with eight digs. The Cougars won in three quick sets (30-17, 33-31, 30-26). Sophomore middle blocker Russell Lavaja stopped the Lancers on the net with five total blocks. Saturday, BYU finished the weekend sweep of CBU in three games (33-31, 30-23, 30-27). Led by senior opposite hitter Kent Tuttle, the Cougars came out with another win. Tuttle tallied 17 kills and four digs on the night. Junior middle blocker Otavio Souza started his first match of the season, posting nine kills on .727 hitting. With three different setters in for the match, Chilton led in assists with 25 on the night. Libero Joel Silva had 11 digs on the night to lead his Cougars on defense.

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