Cougars Down Flyers, Advance to Championship Match

The Cougars downed Lewis University in three straight on Thursday and will now take on Long Beach State in the National Championship match on Saturday in Honolulu. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

HONOLULU -- The top-ranked BYU men's volleyball team turned away fourth-seed Lewis University 30-21, 30-28, 30-21 in the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship semifinal round on Thursday in Honolulu.

"It seems like some of the TV commentators thought we had a very good match," BYU head coach Tom Peterson said. "Maybe I'm just a stickler, but I don't think we played our best tonight. When Lewis was executing, they were giving us a hard time. I'm not very satisfied with how we played. I would like to see how the players feel, but I think we can play better than we did. We'll have to play better than we did tonight on Saturday if we want to have a chance."

With the victory, BYU improved to 28-4 overall on the season, and will now face second-ranked Long Beach State in the National Championship match on May 8 at 8 p.m. MDT (4 p.m. HT). The match will be televised live on ESPN2.

Lewis won the 2003 NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship as the first non-Division I school to claim the title. The Flyers defeated BYU in five games last year in the title match. BYU defeated Lewis in four games on March 26, 2004.

"It was a hard loss for me last year and a hard loss for these guys," Peterson said. "That's what you have to focus in on. You don't want to have that feeling again."

The Cougars used a balanced attack with three players tacking on at least 11 kills. Fernando Pessoa and Jonathan Alleman both placed 12 kills on the stat sheet with Pessoa hitting .474. Joe Hillman contributed 11 kills and a .320 attack percentage for the Cougars. Michael Burke added eight kills in the victory. Carlos Moreno, the AVCA Division I-II Men's National Player of the Year, led the Cougars to a .382 team attack percentage. He charted 46 assists, seven assists and three kills in the victory. BYU held a 31-22 dig advantage, in addition to holding a 9-5 margin in team blocks.

Hillman sparked BYU early in game one with two kills leading to a Cougar 7-2 advantage. Michael Burke served five straight during the first nine points that included an ace. The Flyers quickly closed to 9-6 on a Jared Dayton block solo and kill. However, BYU increased its lead to 20-12 using two three-point runs with Hillman gaining two kills and an ace. BYU closed out the game 30-21 on a 6-2 spurt. Alleman chipped in five kills for the Cougars in the first game, while Hillman had four kills without an error. BYU hit .286 as a team in the first game and held Lewis to a .069 percentage.

The nine-point win marked the largest single-game, NCAA semifinal victory for the Cougars.

BYU bolted to a 7-2 advantage in the second game as Pessoa was credited with two kills and a block assist in the opening moments. The Flyers scored three straight points to make it 7-5 as Greg Pochopien produced a kill and block assist. The Cougars upped the gap to 13-9 as Alleman tallied a kill and block solo on consecutive points. Lewis scored four unanswered points to tie the game at 13, highlighted by a kill and block from Barreto, prompting a Cougar timeout. BYU fired out of the break in action with five of the next six points for an 18-14 advantage with four different Cougars scoring during the stretch. Lewis answered for the second time in the match putting together a 5-1 spurt to tie the game 19-all as Pochopien turned in three of Lewis' points with kills. The Flyers took its second lead of game two and first since 1-0 as Soler and Barreto put back-to-back kills on the board for a 21-20 lead. BYU regained the lead at 24-23 after an Alleman kill and Lewis attack error. Lewis took the upper hand at 26-25 as Dayton contributed a kill, but the lead was short-lived as the Cougars scored the next two points on a Hillman kill and Dayton error. BYU gained the first game point of the second game on a controversial kills by Alleman. The Cougars closed out the second game 30-28 as Batista and Alleman combined on a block. The second game featured 10 ties and six lead changes. Pessoa was credited with six kills in the second game as BYU hit .414. Barreto charted six kills in game two as the Flyers hit .256.

Lewis offered up the first run of game three, scoring four straight to take a 5-3 advantage. BYU returned the run with four points of its own to take a 7-5 lead. Neither team held more than a two-point lead in the middle of the third game. Lewis led 15-13 prompting a Cougar timeout. However, BYU scored six of the next seven points to take a 19-16 lead. Burke turned two blocks and a kill, while Batista recorded two kills during the 6-1 run. The Cougars put a clamp on the match with another 5-0 run to take a 24-17 advantage. BYU ended game three with a 17-6 run and a 30-21 score.

Thursday's victory sets up the fourth meeting of the season between the Cougars and 49'ers. BYU has posted a 3-0 mark against The Beach this season.

"It's a huge match," Peterson said. "The disappointment from last year adds to what you think. I'm sure that we will all be focused. People have asked me if I realize how hard it is to beat a team four times during a season. We have to dwell on the fact that we beat them three times and we can beat them again. And you have to have the confidence in that."

"I love playing against Long Beach," Alleman added. "It's going to be a great match. We're going to be very focused. They have some great players. They know us really well and we know them, so I think what's it's going to come down to is who has the biggest heart and wants it most."

Volleyball Box Score

2004 BYU Men's Volleyball Stats

No. 4 Lewis vs BRIGHAM YOUNG (May 06, 2004 at Honolulu, HI)

No. 4 Lewis | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

2 Escalante, Enrique.. 0| 3 3 9 .000| 0| 0 3| 0| 1| 0 1 1| 0| 3.5

4 Dayton, Jared....... 0| 8 7 21 .048| 0| 0 0| 1| 0| 1 2 1| 0| 10.0

7 Soler, Jeff......... 0| 12 3 25 .360| 0| 1 0| 2| 4| 0 0 0| 0| 13.0

10 Barreto, Fabiano.... 0| 11 4 27 .259| 0| 0 1| 0| 6| 0 1 2| 0| 11.5

14 Sisk, Brandon....... 0| 0 3 6 -.500| 31| 0 0| 0| 4| 0 1 3| 0| 0.5

16 Pochopien, Greg..... 0| 5 1 11 .364| 1| 1 2| 0| 1| 0 3 0| 0| 7.5

3 Castellano, Jose.... 0| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

9 Stuntz, Ryan........ 0| 0 0 0 .000| 2| 0 0| 1| 6| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

Team................ | | | | 3| | | | 0.0

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Totals.............. 3| 39 21 99 .182| 34| 2 7| 7| 22| 1 8 7| 0| 46.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 5.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 9 7 29 .069 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 19 9 39 .256 No. 4 Lewis......... 21 28 21 (19-14, 11-5 MIVA)

3 11 5 31 .194 BRIGHAM YOUNG....... 30 30 30 (28-4, 20-2 MPSF)

BRIGHAM YOUNG | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

3 BURKE, Michael...... 3| 8 3 15 .333| 2| 1 1| 0| 3| 1 2 0| 0| 11.0

5 MORENO, Carlos...... 3| 3 1 7 .286| 46| 0 3| 0| 7| 0 2 1| 0| 4.0

11 HILLMAN, Joe........ 3| 11 3 25 .320| 1| 3 0| 0| 1| 0 2 0| 0| 15.0

12 ALLEMAN, Jonathan... 3| 12 4 25 .320| 2| 1 3| 1| 5| 1 2 2| 0| 15.0

17 PESSOA, Fernando.... 3| 12 3 19 .474| 0| 1 2| 0| 4| 0 3 0| 0| 14.5

18 BATISTA, Victor..... 3| 8 2 10 .600| 0| 1 3| 0| 3| 0 4 1| 0| 11.0

7 GORNY, Chris........ 3| 1 0 1 1.000| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

10 CARPENTER, Cory..... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

14 NEILSON, Rob........ 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

15 OLMSTEAD, Shawn..... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 0| 7| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

TEAM................ | | | | 1| | | | 0.0

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Totals.............. 3| 55 16 102 .382| 52| 7 12| 2| 31| 2 15 4| 0| 71.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 9.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 17 7 35 .286 Site: Honolulu, HI (Stan Sheriff Center)

2 16 4 29 .414 Date: May 06, 2004 Attend: 3707 Time: 1:28

3 22 5 38 .447 Referees: Mike Paull, Ken Taylor

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Tags: Results