BYU's Blocking Leads to Win

Russell Holmes set a career high with 12 kills in helping BYU defeated Cal State Northridge 3-1 Friday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- A record setting blocking performance and career nights from Russell Holmes and Jonathan Charette led No.4 BYU to a 3-1 (24-30, 30-26, 30-24, 30-24) win over No.5 Cal State Northridge Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars are now 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation while the Matadors fell to 2-2 and 0-1.

"There are few matches you win because of blocking but that was the difference tonight," BYU coach Tom Peterson said. "We played poorly early on but we stopped making so many errors and we started playing like we should play. That's what turned it around for us."

After dropping the first game, BYU turned up its defense and held the Matadors to hitting percentages of .088 and .100 in games two and three, both Cougars wins. BYU sealed the match with a strong offensive performance in the fourth. As a team, BYU had 24.0 blocks, setting a school rally scoring record. The previous record was 21.0, set in 2001 against UC Irvine.

Holmes set a career high with 12 kills, including two solos and 10 assists, while adding 11 kills, a .556 hitting percentage and one ace. The 12 blocks ranks him second behind Scott Bunker for most blocks in a rally scoring match. Bunker had 13 against Hawai`i in 2001.

Charette set career highs with 14 kills and six block assists while tying a career high with five digs. Ivan Perez also set a career high with seven blocks while recording 10 kills. Taylor Evans chipped in with 10 kills. Perez had nine digs to lead the team while Brian Rowley had eight. Rob Neilson had 49 assists while directing the offense. Victor Batista tied his career high with nine total blocks.

"I think Russell (Holmes) does not even know his own potential," Peterson said. "He doesn't have a ton of experience so his learning curve is pretty steep. If we can figure out how to get him involved in the offense he can be pretty scary."

"Jonathan's (Charette) performance was pretty critical," Peterson said. "I'm glad to see him play that way. He blocks well for his size. Our opposite is very critical for us."

Perez and Holmes gave BYU the early 2-0 lead in game one, teaming to block the Matadors first two attacks. Northridge got right back into the game though, capitalizing on several BYU errors to jump out to a six-point lead. The Matadors led 10-8 before reeling off three-straight points, two coming off Cougar errors. From there Northridge stayed in control, maintaining at least a four-point lead the rest of the way and winning 30-24. BYU was led by Charette's four kills and Perez and Evans added three each. For the game, the Cougars hit .206 (14-7-34) compared to .310 (15-6-29) for the Matadors.

BYU's offense continued to struggle in game two, hitting just .171 (14-8-35), but the Cougars came through on defense to earn the 30-26 win to even the match at one game apiece. Northridge hit .088 (13-10-34) thanks to the efforts of the Cougar defense. Holmes dominated the net, recording four blocks in the game, including a solo. The solo came with BYU trailing 22-23 and he then teamed with Neilson to get another block, putting the Cougars up 24-23. Neilson added a solo block to give BYU the lead for good at 27-26. Northridge had back-to-back hitting errors to put the Cougars up 29-26 and Evans finished it with a kill. Charette and Batista were the only constants on offense, registering four and three kills, respectively, and neither recording hitting errors.

Game three was more of the same as BYU's blocking led to another win, this time 30-24. Batista registered six blocks while Charette added four to go with three kills. Holmes also added several timely points, tallying three blocks and three kills. As a team, BYU had 9.5 blocks. The Cougars led 22-19 but Northridge rattled off three points to tie the game at 22. Charette stopped the run with a kill and then BYU had three-consecutive blocks, with Holmes having a hand in each. From there the Cougars coasted to the win.

BYU kept rolling in game four, adding an offensive attack to the mix to claim the 30-24 win. The Cougars jumped ahead early, building a 10-6 lead and then 19-14 behind a perfect 8-for-8 hitting. BYU hit .483 (16-2-29) for the game and was led by Perez's five kills and Holmes' perfect 4-of-4.

BYU and Cal State Northridge will be back in action Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the Fieldhouse.

Volleyball Box Score

Brigham Young University - Volleyball

#5 CSN Matadors vs #4 BYU Cougars (Jan 13, 2006 at Smith Fieldhouse BYU)

CSN Matadors | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

1 Kneubuhl, Isaac..... 4| 6 8 23 -.087| 1| 0 5| 1| 8| 0 2 0| 1| 7.0

3 Lischer, James...... 4| 12 3 23 .391| 0| 0 2| 0| 0| 0 3 2| 0| 13.5

4 Waite, Brian........ 4| 13 9 29 .138| 0| 0 4| 0| 0| 0 3 0| 0| 14.5

7 Rhodes, Dan......... 3| 10 9 27 .037| 0| 0 1| 0| 4| 0 5 0| 0| 12.5

8 Hanson, Cary........ 4| 9 6 21 .143| 2| 0 4| 0| 8| 0 0 0| 0| 9.0

9 Bluemling, Travis... 4| 1 0 2 .500| 50| 1 1| 0| 6| 1 0 0| 0| 3.0

10 Bellante, Matt...... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

11 Pedraza, Sebastian.. 4| 0 0 0 .000| 2| 0 0| 1| 10| 0 0 0| 1| 0.0

14 Vance, Eric......... 3| 6 2 11 .364| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 6.0

17 Schneider, Aaron.... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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Totals.............. 4| 57 37 136 .147| 55| 1 18| 2| 37| 1 13 2| 2| 65.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 7.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 15 6 29 .310 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 TEAM RECORDS

2 13 10 34 .088 CSN Matadors........ (1) 30 26 24 24 2-2; 0-1 MPFS

3 13 13 39 .000 BYU Cougars......... (3) 24 30 30 30 3-0; 1-0 MPFS

4 16 8 34 .235

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

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

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

3 CHARETTE, Jonathan.. 4| 14 3 30 .367| 0| 0 4| 0| 5| 0 6 0| 0| 17.0

8 PEREZ, Ivan......... 4| 10 9 31 .032| 1| 0 5| 0| 9| 0 7 0| 0| 13.5

11 HOLMES, Russell..... 4| 11 1 18 .556| 1| 1 0| 0| 0| 2 10 1| 0| 19.0

14 NEILSON, Rob........ 4| 3 1 4 .500| 49| 0 2| 0| 4| 2 3 0| 1| 6.5

15 BATISTA, Victor..... 4| 7 2 11 .455| 1| 0 5| 0| 3| 1 8 2| 0| 12.0

17 EVANS, Taylor....... 4| 10 8 28 .071| 0| 1 3| 1| 3| 0 4 1| 0| 13.0

7 ROWLEY, Brian....... 4| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 0| 8| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

19 SORENSEN, Trent..... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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

Totals.............. 4| 55 24 122 .254| 53| 2 19| 1| 32| 5 38 4| 1| 81.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 24.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 14 7 34 .206 Site: Smith Fieldhouse BYU (Elaine Michaelis)

2 14 8 35 .171 Date: Jan 13, 2006 Attend: 4386 Time: 2 H 5 M

3 11 7 24 .167 Referees: Burt Fuller, Daphne Nelson, Maetani

4 16 2 29 .483

1 2 3 4 Total

Tie scores 3 17 13 2 35

Lead changes 1 7 6 0 14

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Tags: Results