Championship in Sight with Sweep of Hawaii

Outside hitter Rafael Paal recorded his second double-double of the season with 14 kills and 13 digs to lead the Cougars to a 3-0 victory over Hawaii. BYU will play Pepperdine on Saturday for the MPSF Championship. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

MALIBU -- The BYU Cougars advance to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship match after sweeping Hawaii 30-28, 37-25, 30-27 in the semifinal round of the MPSF Tournament in Malibu.

Chris Gorny hit a blistering .846 on the match with 11 kills on 13 attempts and no errors, aided by four other Cougars hitting in double digits, including Michael Burke, Jaime Mayol, Rafael Paal and Jonathan Alleman. Paal and Alleman each added defensive digs in double figures to score double-doubles and Fernando Pessoa added 11 digs on the match to top the Warriors.

"We have no players that made first-team All-MPSF, so you look at the roster and the stats and it's hard to say who is the best player," BYU head coach Tom Peterson said. "It's hard to say who it is because it changes every time and that's the mark of our team. We don't have one person that we're going to all the time. It's a team effort."

On the night, the Cougars hit .393 on the attack to Hawaii's .264, and despite having 15 service errors and only three blocks, were able to out-do the Warriors with 63 kills and 45 digs to the Warriors' 49 and 34, respectively.

"I'm sure that .264 is a very low hitting percentage for them on the season," Peterson said. "I hope a little of that had to do with what we were doing and not just them having a poor night. We converted on more points tonight than we did last week or the week before. I thought we had a good game plan, knowing where they were going to hit the ball."

Neither team recorded a single block in the first game, but BYU out-hit Hawaii .552 to .290 and scored on 18 kills to Hawaii's 14, led by Gorny with five kills. Alleman and Burke each added four kills for the Cougars, while Tony Ching led the Warriors with four kills.

The Cougars took the lead early and held a steady two-point lead throughout. The Warriors fought to tie the score at 28, but that was as far as they got. A controversial call and reversal gave BYU the 29th point, after which Kimo Tuyay's serve into the net gave the Cougars the game 30-28.

In game two the Cougars seemed to be running away with the victory as they amassed an eight-point lead at 22-14, even after Hawaii replaced Tuyay with Daniel Rasay at setter when Paal knocked down a kill for a 20-13 lead. Ahead by eight, the Cougars were plagued by errors as Hawaii took a five-point run to close BYU's lead to three at 22-19.

The Warriors had another big run in the second game to tie the score at 25, and six service errors, two over-the-net calls and a few blocks later, the teams were tied at 35. Paal drilled down a kill off the hands of Hawaii blockers for the lead and Burke slammed down the game-winning kill to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead in the match.

"I thought we were very steady, even though we had points where we missed serves or they served great against us or there were runs of points," Peterson said. "Our demeanor on the court was a big key to what we did tonight. In the second game they came back from seven points behind and we could have folded at that time, but I thought our demeanor was steady the whole time. We're a pretty emotional team, so that was good for us."

Both teams struggled offensively in game three, with BYU hitting .302 and Hawaii hitting .225. Hawaii was leading into the teens until BYU broke through to gain a 24-22. The Cougar momentum gained as they went on a four-point run to take the lead 28-24. Ching put in a kill to try to save Hawaii, but was followed by a net violation and BYU promptly took game point, 30-26.

For the Warriors, Tony Ching led with 16 kills while hitting .237 and Eyal Zimet and Costas Theocharidis chipped in 11 and 13, respectively.

"I think everybody did awesome tonight. We were all excited to play Hawaii today and I think everybody did a great job," Paal said. "We will be playing one of the best teams in the league on Saturday, and we cannot be out of the system too often. Pepperdine is good, and they don't make many mistakes. But we are ready for them."

BYU now advances to play top-ranked Pepperdine in the championship match Saturday at 7:30 pm (PST). The match will be broadcast live by CSTV (DirecTV channel 610) and available through Internet broadcast from Malibu (www.byucougars.com).

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Volleyball Box Score

2003 BYU Men's Volleyball Stats

No. 2 Hawaii vs Brigham Young (Apr 24, 2003 at Malibu, California)

No. 2 Hawaii | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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3 TUYAY, Kimo......... 2| 0 0 1 .000| 17| 0 2| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

5 MUISE, Jake......... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 1| 8| 0 0 0| 0

6 ZIMET, Eyal......... 3| 11 1 19 .526| 0| 1 2| 0| 10| 0 1 0| 0

9 THECHARIDIS, Costas. 3| 13 7 42 .143| 0| 1 2| 1| 5| 0 2 0| 0

12 AZENHA, Pedro....... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

15 CHING, Tony......... 3| 16 7 38 .237| 0| 2 1| 1| 6| 0 2 0| 0

16 NORDBERG, Brian..... 3| 5 1 6 .667| 0| 0 0| 0| 2| 0 2 0| 0

17 THOMAS, Delano...... 3| 4 1 14 .214| 0| 1 3| 0| 1| 1 3 0| 0

18 RASAY, Daniel....... 2| 0 0 1 .000| 30| 1 1| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0

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Totals.............. 3| 49 17 121 .264| 47| 6 12| 3| 34| 1 10 0| 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 19 5 50 .280 No. 2 Hawaii........ 28 35 26 24-6

3 16 7 40 .225 Brigham Young....... 30 37 30 21-6

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

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

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1 PATTERSON, Casey.... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

3 BURKE, Michael...... 3| 12 2 21 .476| 1| 0 2| 0| 0| 0 3 0| 0

5 MORENO, Carlos...... 3| 2 3 9 -.111| 53| 1 5| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0

6 GORNY, Chris........ 3| 11 0 13 .846| 2| 0 3| 0| 4| 0 0 0| 0

7 MAYOL, Jaime........ 3| 11 3 25 .320| 1| 0 0| 1| 6| 1 2 0| 0

9 PAAL, Rafael........ 3| 14 4 28 .357| 1| 2 4| 4| 10| 0 0 0| 0

12 ALLEMAN, Jonathan... 3| 13 3 26 .385| 0| 0 0| 0| 13| 0 1 0| 0

17 PESSOA, Fernando.... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 1| 11| 0 0 0| 0

18 SLABE, Luka......... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

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Totals.............. 3| 63 15 122 .393| 58| 3 15| 6| 45| 1 6 0| 0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 4.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 18 2 29 .552 Site: Malibu, California (Firestone Fieldhouse)

2 26 7 50 .380 Date: Apr 24, 2003 Attend: 1507 Time: 1:45

3 19 6 43 .302 Referees: Marvin Hall, John Martin

Tags: Results