BYU vs. UCLA (MPST Tournament Notes)

MPSF Tournament • First Round

Match 27

No. 6 BYU (18-8) at No. 4 UCLA (24-5)

Saturday, April 22 • 7 p.m. (PDT)

Pauley Pavilion • Los Angeles, Calif.

The sixth-ranked BYU men's volleyball team will travel to UCLA on Saturday, April 22, for the first round of the MPSF Tournament. The Bruins (24-5, 14-5) enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed, while BYU (18-8, 13-6) enters as the fifth seed. Saturday's match will mark the third meeting between the two teams this season. Match time is slated for 7 p.m. (PDT) at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.

Broadcast Plans

Saturday's match at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion will be broadcast live on Broadcast.com. Fans can log on to the broadcast through the Broadcast.com website or through the Bruins' official website at www.uclabruins.com. Lou Riggs will call the action, while Mike Sondheimer will provide color analysis.

The Rivalry

UCLA Leads, 20-5

Saturday's match will mark the 26th meeting between the two teams, dating back to the 1990 when BYU first started competition as an NCAA-sanctioned program. The Bruins own a 5-20 record, however each team has won three of the past six matches. BYU defeated UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on March 6, 1998 and twice defeated the Bruins during the Cougars' NCAA Championship run in 1999 in Provo. UCLA defeated BYU twice this season, 3-1, 3-1, at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins hold a 13-3 record in three-game matches, 4-0 record in four-game matches and a 3-2 record in five-game matches.

Scouting UCLA (24-5, 14-5)

The fourth-ranked Bruins enter Saturday's match having won 13 of their last 15 matches, including two of their last four matches. UCLA won its regular-season finale with a 3-0 victory over UC Irvine. Junior Mark Williams led the Bruins with 10 kills in the sweep, while UCLA hit .480 for the match, including .765 (14-1-17) in Game one. Williams and freshman Scott Morrow were the leading blockers with four each. The Bruins are under the direction of veteran head coach, Al Scates. Now in his 38th campaign, Scates has posted a 990-158 (.863) record and has won 19 National Championships, including a single sport record of 17 NCAA titles. His career coaching record leads all NCAA volleyball coaches in every division of both genders. The Bruins are lead on the court by senior All-American setter Brandon Taliaferro. Taliaferro was named AVCA National Player of the Week on March 6 after leading the Bruins to victories over BYU and Lewis. He became the Bruins career assists leader earlier this season and now has 6,507 assists. He is tied for fifth on the AVCA all-time assists chart. Last week, he ranked seventh nationally (18.37) and second in league (19.47). Taliaferro is also UCLA's career ace leader with 162. Last week, he ranked second nationally (.595) and seventh in MPSF ace average (.419). He ranks sixth all-time in the AVCA record books in total aces.

Last Time Out (vs. UC Santa Barbara)

The Cougars finished the regular-season with back-to-back wins over UC Santa Barbara. On Friday, April 7, BYU recorded its 10th three-game victory of the season, putting away the Gauchos, 15-4, 15-9, 15-4. On Saturday, April 8, the Cougars improved their four-game record to 5-2 on the year with a 15-6, 15-7, 14-16, 15-8 victory over UCSB. Saturday's win marked the Cougars' 18th of the season -- their fourth straight campaign with 15 or more wins. Mike Wall led BYU with 43 kills in the two-match series, averaging 6.14 kills per game. Matt Olsen led the BYU defense with 17 kills over the weekend, while Mac Wilson added 10 blocks during Friday night's match. Chris Pitzak paced the Cougar offense with 137 assists, averaging 19.6 assists per game.

2000 MPSF Tournament Schedule

Saturday, April 22

No. 8 Loyola Marymount at No. 1 Long Beach State (7:30 p.m.)

No. 7 Stanford at No. 2 Pepperdine ( 7 p.m.)

No. 6 Hawai'i at No. 3 USC (7 p.m.)

No. 5 Brigham Young at No. 4 UCLA (7 p.m.)

Thursday, April 27 - Semi-Finals

(The highest remaining seed after round one will host the semifinal round of the MPSF Tournament.)

LMU or Long Beach State vs. UCLA or Brigham Young

Stanford of Pepperdine vs. Hawai'i or USC

Saturday, April 29 - Finals

(The highest remaining seed after round one will host the MPSF Tournament Finals.)

BYU in the MPSF Tournament

The 2000 MPSF Tournament marks the fourth straight postseason appearance for the Cougars, dating back to the 1997 season. BYU won the 1999 MPSF Tournament, defeating Pacific in the first round, 3-0, eliminating Hawai'i, 3-0, in the semifinals and earning its first-ever NCAA Championship berth by knocking off USC, 3-1, in the finals. The 2000 Tournament will mark the seventh postseason appearance for the Cougars. BYU has posted a 7-5 record during MPSF postseason play and has earned two trips to the championship match, including a victory in 1999 and a 1-3 loss against Stanford in 1994. The Cougars are 0-1 against UCLA in MPSF Tournament action, while BYU has posted a 5-3 postseason record against this year's MPSF Tournament field. Following is a breakdown of BYU's record v.s all MPSF Tournament opponents:

Year Team Round Result

1999 USC Championship W, 3-1

1999 Hawai'i Semifinals W, 3-0

1999 Pacific First Round W, 3-0

1998 Long Beach State First Round L, 1-3

1997 Stanford Semifinals L, 0-3

1997 Hawai'i First Round W, 3-2

1995 UCLA Semifinals L, 0-3

1995 Stanford First Round W, 3-2

1994 Stanford Championship L, 1-3

1994 USC Semifinals W, 3-0

1994 Hawai'i First Round W, 3-1

1993 Long Beach State First Round L, 0-3

BYU Head Coach Carl McGown

Carl McGown is in his 11th season of NCAA competition at BYU with an overall record of 159-119 (.572), including a school record 30-1 mark last season. McGown picked up career win No. 150 on Feb. 11, 2000, defeating eighth-ranked Loyola Marymount, 3-0. Since 1997 McGown has led the Cougars to an amazing 84-20 (.808) record, averaging 21 wins per season. The only coach in BYU men's volleyball history led the Cougars to their first-ever NCAA National Championship in 1999, posting a 30-1 overall record and an 18-1 mark in the Mountain Division of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. McGown and BYU began NCAA competition in 1990 after winning three national club titles and finishing second in 1986 and 1989. He paced the Cougars to six top-10 regular-season finishes in the past seven seasons. Following the 1999 season, McGown was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year. Over the past 10 seasons, McGown has coached nine different All-Americans, eight players who have gone on to professional careers and eight players who have represented the United States at various levels of international competition. In addition, three other former BYU players have represented their native countries in international competition. McGown served as head coach of the USA men's team from 1973-1976 and became a technical advisor to the National Team in 1980. Since then, McGown has coached in last four Olympic Games, including the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. McGown has also coached the National Team in seven different World Championships and has also coached in the World University Games and Pan American Games.

Building A Winning Tradition

A ten-year effort to put BYU men's volleyball on the map was finally achieved during the 1999 season. On May 8, 1999, the Cougars overcame their only loss of the year, defeating Long Beach State, 3-0, to win the school's first-ever men's volleyball National Championship. The Cougars posted a 30-1 record, marking one of the greatest seasons in NCAA volleyball history. Leading up to the 1999 campaign, the Cougars had posted records of 16-6 in 1998 and 20-6 in 1997, but had been unable to reach the NCAA Final Four. Since the 1997 season, BYU has steadily built its reputation and has become one of the winningest NCAA Division-I programs. Including the 2000 season, the Cougars have posted the nation's third highest winning percentage, winning 80 percent of its matches. The Cougars are 84-21 since Jan. 11, 1997, marking the third most wins by a Division-I program. Following is a look at the records, since 1997, of some of the top teams in the nation:

Team '97 '98 '99 '00 Overall

1. UCLA 24-5 28-4* 20-7 24-5 96-21 (.821)

2. Ohio State 19-9 25-2 21-6 21-3 86-20 (.811)

3. BYU 20-6 16-6 30-1* 18-8 84-21 (.800)

4. Pepperdine 18-9 23-5 20-5 20-4 81-23 (.779)

5. Penn State 26-4 17-15 22-13 17-13 82-35 (.701)

6. Hawai'i 18-11 23-6 19-10 19-9 79-36 (.687)

7. Stanford 27-3* 15-8 10-12 10-12 62-35 (.639)

8. USC 18-14 17-17 24-12 21-4 80-47 (.630)

* - NCAA National Champion

All 2000 Records through Feb. 22, 2000

Since the 1993 season, the Cougars have posted the second highest winning percentage among MPSF opponents. This weekend's opponent, UCLA, boasts the highest winning percentage (since 1993) against MPSF opponents. Following is a look at the league's top-five winning programs, dating back to the 1993 season:

Team Overall

1. UCLA 131-21 (.862)

2. BYU 105-47 (.691)

3. Hawai'i 104-48 (.684)

Long Beach State 104-48 (.684)

5. Stanford 102-50 (.671)

Pepperdine 102-50 (.671)

Double Your Pleasure

On the season, the Cougars have produced 32 double-double performances, including a team-leading seven double-doubles from junior Scott Bunker. Bunker has recorded all seven by combining kills and blocks. Casey Jennings ranks second on the roster with six double-doubles, while Joaquin Acosta has tallied five. All totaled, BYU has registered 12 double-doubles using kills and digs, while 13 double-double performances have been recorded using the kills/blocks combo. Setter Chris Pitzak has racked up six double-doubles as well, including five assist/dig combinations. Following is a breakdown of the different combinations used to record double-double performances during the seasons.

Double-Double Performance Breakdown

Kills/Blocks 13

Kills/Digs 12

Assists/Blocks 1

Assists/Digs 6

Cougar Quick Facts

• BYU has produced at least one All-American in nine of the past 10 seasons, including Ryan Millar, Ossie Antonetti and Hector Lebron who each earned All-America honors last season.

•The BYU defense has dominated its opponents at the net this season. The Cougars have out-blocked their opponents, 443.0 to 314.5. BYU is averaging 4.5 blocks per game, while its opponents are averaging just 3.2 blocks per game.

• The Cougars are 13-8 on the season when producing 65 or more kills in a match.

• BYU has posted a perfect 11-0 record when hitting .350 or better on the season.

• BYU setter Chris Pitzak tallied his 2300th career assist against CSUN and later overtook Jesse Gant for third place and then passed current BYU All-American Hector Lebron for second-place on the Cougar career assist list. Pitzak, who ranks second in the nation, averaging 19.48 assists per game, has 3,692 career assists, while Lebron, who is redshirting, has 3,143 career assists.

• Prior to the Cougars' 3-1 loss against Ohio State on April 7, 2000, BYU had won 40 straight matches in the Smith Fieldhouse. The streak extended over three seasons, dating back to a March 28, 1997 loss to UCLA.

• The Cougars' homecourt win streak ranked as the third all-time longest homecourt win streak in NCAA men's volleyball history. UCLA owns the top two all-time win streaks. The Bruins have laced together wins streaks in Pauley Pavilion of 83 and 42 straight wins.

• At the time, the Cougars' streak of 40 wins in the Smith Fieldhouse, was the longest active streak of its kind.

• Since the beginning of the 1997 season, BYU has won 53 of its last 58 matches in Provo, including 53 of the last 57 in the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars have lost just five times in Provo over a span of 58 matches, posting an impressive .914 home winning percentage.

• Since 1990, the Cougars have played 138 matches in Provo, including 136 matches in the Smith Fieldhouse. Only twice has BYU played in a location other than the Fieldhouse.

• The Cougars' all-time record 23 consecutive "home" victories came to an end on March 19, 1999, when Long Beach State upset the Cougars, 2-3, in the Marriott Center. Since then, BYU has gone on to win 20 of its last 22 straight home matches -- all in the Smith Fieldhouse.

• Away from the friendly confines of the Smith Fieldhouse, the Cougars are are 57-65 (since 1990) on the road, and are 8-10 at neutral site matches. However, since 1997, BYU has won 64-percent of its road matches.

• The Cougars have produced 100 or more kills in 11 of its 26 matches, while the BYU defense has allowed its opponents just nine 100-kill performances.

• Mike Wall and Joaquin Acosta have each recorded 21 double-digit kill performances on the season. Wall has produced a current streak of 17 straight matches with 10 or more kills. The Santa Barbara, Calif., native has recorded nine 20-kill performances on the season and has collected 22 or more kills in six of his last seven matches.

Acosta Named MPSF Player of the Week (Jan. 21)

BYU outside hitter Joaquin Acosta was named the MPSF Player of the Week on Jan. 21 after leading the Cougars to a 2-1 record on the week. Acosta, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, tallied 67 kills on the week, averaging 5.15 kills per game, and added 16 blocks. Acosta picked up 19 kills in a 2-3 loss at Pacific, collected a team-high 18 kills in a 3-0 win over Stanford and recorded a career-high 30 kills in a 3-2 marathon victory at Hawai'i.