PROVO -- On Saturday, April 19 at 7 p.m. the Brigham Young University Cougars will begin post-season play as they host Cal State Northridge in the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament at the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU (19-6, 17-5 MPSF) has been seeded second in the tournament, while Northridge (18-11, 12-10 MPSF) is seeded seventh.
Northridge hosted BYU just four weeks ago during the regular season, when the teams split two matches on March 21 and 21 in the Matadome. In Friday night's series opener the Cougars out-blocked the Matadors 12.5 to 6.5 for a 3-0 sweep. In the second match, however, Northridge came back to overpower BYU for the first time since 1996, winning 3-1 Saturday night.
BYU had a chance to become the top seed in the tournament last week as it took on top-ranked Pepperdine. In the first match of the series the Cougars fought back from a 2-0 deficit to win the match 3-2 and contend for the MPSF title Saturday night. In the second match, though, Pepperdine showed its strength, defeating BYU 3-0 and winning the conference title outright.
Only the top eight teams from the MPSF compete in the tournament, and 2003 marks BYU's seventh-straight trip to the post season and the ninth appearance since the program began in 1990. BYU has never encountered Cal State Northridge in post-season play.
The winner of the first-round match between BYU and Northridge will play the winner of the Hawaii-Pacific match on Thursday, April 24.
Saturday's match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse at BYU. Tickets cost $5 for students with ID and $10 for adults. No All-Sport or Cougar cards will be accepted. Tickets may be purchased from the Marriott Center Ticket Office in advance or will be sold at the door starting 90 minutes before the match begins. Saturday's match will not be televised, but live stats will be available through byucougars.com.
Requests for media credentials should be made in writing to Amy Boam (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jeff Reynolds (jeff_Reynolds@byu.edu) by Friday, April 18 at noon.
MPSF Tournament Seedings:
1. Pepperdine (19-3)
2. BYU (17-5)
3. Hawaii (17-5)
4. Stanford (14-8)
5. UC Irvine (12-10)
6. Pacific (12-10)
7. CS Northridge (12-10)
8. Long Beach State (11-11)
First Round: Saturday, April 19
Match 1: #8 seed at #1 seed (Long Beach at Pepperdine)
Match 2: #5 seed at #4 seed (UC Irvine at Stanford)
Match 3: #6 seed at #3 seed (Pacific at Hawaii)
Match 4: #7 seed at #2 seed (CS Northridge at BYU)
Semifinal Matches: Thursday, April 24
Match 5: Winner match 1 vs. winner match 2
Match 6: Winner match 3 vs. winner match 4
Championship Match: Saturday, April 26
Winner match 5 vs. winner match 6
All first-round matches will be played at the host institution's regular-season
starting time unless otherwise determined. The Semifinal and Championship
matches will be held at the top-seeded institution remaining after the first
round and times will be established by the MPSF office in conjunction with the