Cougars Get By UC Irvine; Advance to MPSF Semifinals

PROVO -- The top-ranked BYU men's volleyball team edged No. 7 UC Irvine, 3-1 (30-19, 32-34, 30-28, 30-18), in MPSF Tournament first-round action on Saturday. The Cougars will now advance to the semi-final round on Thursday, April 26 and will face the winner of the Hawai'i / USC matchup, being played later this evening in Honolulu. The Cougars improve to 21-3 with their fifth straight victory, while the Anteaters end their season with a 13-13 mark.

"I think at this time of year, it's unsettling to think we can play a 30-18 game and a 30-19 game, but lose game two and be in a position to lose game three," BYU head coach Carl McGown said. "I'm not sure how we got ourselves into that position. We came within a whisper of losing two of the first three games and to me, that's unsettling. On the other hand, we were terrific in a couple games. I guess I'd rather just be really good in all the games. UC Irvine is a very good team. They came in here on a roll and played very well."

Again, it was the BYU defense that kept the Cougars alive, outblocking the Anteaters 21.0 - 7.0. The Cougars held UCI to a .170 average at the net, forcing 36 attack errors on 141 swings. All-American Scott Bunker led BYU with 11 blocks, marking his third match (in the last four contests) he has recorded double-figures in blocks. Bunker was assisted by Joaquin Acosta who chipped in eight blocks, while Mike Wall and setter Hector Lebron each had six.

In game one, BYU cruised to an easy 14-7 lead, complete with an 11-4 run that included a five-point BYU rally. UC Irvine's Monte Tucker ended the Cougars' run with one of his two game-one kills. After trading serves, BYU climbed to a 25-16 lead after forcing a UCI hitting error. Bunker picked up his game-leading fourth kill to give the Cougars a 26-17 advantage, before Wall picked up his first kill of the game and then teamed with Mac Wilson to pick up BYU's fifth block of the game, giving the Cougars a comfortable and commanding 28-18 lead. UCI's Brenden Watumull's third kill temporarily delayed the BYU victory, before Wall recorded kill number two of the game and the Cougars forced the 11th Anteater attack error to pick up game one, 30-19. UC Irvine hit just .032, recording 11 errors on 31 swings, with 12 kills. The Cougars outblocked UCI, 5.0 - 0.0 in game one.

In game two, the Anteaters recovered from a dismal hitting performance and recorded a .417 average at the net. UCI 's Erick Helenihi found holes in the BYU defense to record a team-leading five kills in game two, while the Anteater defense also came to life, out-blocking the Cougars, 4.0 - 3.0. The two teams battled through 14 ties throughout the match, including 10 ties from 20-20 on. Tied at 32-32, Watumull picked up his fourth block of the game to give the Anteaters a one-point advantage and the serve for game point. Monte Tucker wasted little time ending the game, recording his first and only ace of the match to give UCI the 34-32 win. The extra-point victory marked the third time this season the two teams have battled past the 30-point mark.

"I think BYU knows they were in a battle tonight," UC Irvine head coach Charlie Brande said. "We had some trouble against the block -- especially late. But, I thought our short serves took them out of some things they wanted to do and really created a competitive match. They're a great team and I wish them luck."

Game three was just as evenly matched, whit both teams dueling it out through another 14 ties, including notched scores as early as 1-1 and as late as 28-28. After UC Irvine took a four-point lead after Acosta picked up an attack error, the Cougars turned things around and evened things up at 14-14 on a UCI hitting error. BYU would claim a four-point lead of its own, taking a 24-20 advantage on an Anteater error. They to would come back, notching things up again at 27-27. Trading serves, both teams became locked up again at 28-28 after Tucker picked up his sixth kill of the night. Acosta then took matters in to his own hands and recorded back-to-back kills, his 13th and 14th of the match, to end game three, 30-28.

Game four was all BYU. The Cougars benefited from an early run to give them a 10-6 advantage. BYU increased its lead to 17-10 on one of Wall's match-high 19 kills, which spurred a 6-1 run to increase the Cougars' lead to 11 points. After UCI's Erick Helenihi picked up his team-leading 19th kill of the night, Wall recorded his 19th kill of the night to give BYU the 30-18 victory.

Offensively, the Cougars hit .409 on the night, led by Lebron who fueled the performance with a match-high 66 assists. Four Cougars totaled double-figures in kills, led by Wall's 19 kills and Acosta's 16. Lebron also added a team-high nine digs and six blocks.

In other MPSF action, UCLA outlasted Stanford, 3-2, in Los Angeles and will advance to the semifinals, taking on Long Beach State. The 49'ers advance after knocking off Pepperdine in three straight at the Pyramid.

UCLA and Long Beach State will meet at 5:30 p.m. (MDT) in the Smith Fieldhouse, followed by the Cougars and the winner of Hawai'i / USC. All matches will be played at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah. Tickets for Thursday's match will be $11 for adults and $6 for students. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the BYU ticket office at (801) 378-BYU1 or by calling toll-free, (800) 322-BYU1.

#7 UC Irvine vs Brigham Young (Apr 21, 2001 at Provo, Utah)

#7 UC Irvine | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

7 TUCKER, Monte....... 4| 7 8 23 -.043| 2| 1 1| 0| 7| 0 0 0| 0

8 WATUMULL, Brenden... 4| 10 1 14 .643| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 1 3 0| 0

9 STEINERT, Todd...... 4| 4 0 5 .800| 54| 1 0| 0| 4| 0 2 1| 0

12 HELENIHI, Erick..... 4| 19 8 46 .239| 1| 1 2| 0| 6| 0 3 0| 0

15 JENSEN, Jarett...... 4| 11 8 23 .130| 0| 0 3| 0| 2| 0 1 0| 0

23 PEIZEL, Jimmy....... 4| 9 11 30 -.067| 1| 0 3| 0| 6| 0 3 1| 0

1 BEMUS, Spencer...... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

2 SHEA, Devin......... 4| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 1| 8| 0 0 0| 0

16 WEICHERT, Kyle...... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

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

Totals.............. 4| 60 36 141 .170| 59| 3 9| 1| 34| 1 12 2| 0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 7.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 12 11 31 .032 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 TEAM RECORDS

2 20 5 36 .417 #7 UC Irvine....... 19 34 28 18 13-13, 8-9

3 16 9 39 .179 Brigham Young....... 30 32 30 30 21-3, 14-3

4 12 11 35 .029

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

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

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

2 WALL, Mike.......... 4| 19 7 33 .364| 3| 0 1| 0| 4| 1 6 0| 0

3 ACOSTA, Joaquin..... 4| 16 3 27 .481| 1| 1 4| 0| 3| 0 8 0| 0

5 WILSON, Mac......... 4| 3 1 7 .286| 0| 0 3| 0| 0| 0 4 0| 0

7 MAYOL, Jaime........ 4| 11 2 24 .375| 1| 0 0| 3| 4| 0 3 1| 0

9 LEBRON, Hector...... 4| 5 2 8 .375| 66| 0 0| 0| 9| 0 6 0| 2

13 BUNKER, Scott....... 4| 15 2 22 .591| 0| 0 0| 0| 3| 0 11 2| 1

4 OLSEN, Matt......... 2| 7 3 14 .286| 0| 0 2| 0| 1| 0 2 1| 0

12 ALLEMAN, Jonathan... 1| 1 1 2 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0

17 PESSOA, Fernando.... 4| 0 0 0 .000| 2| 0 0| 0| 7| 0 0 0| 0

18 SLABE, Luka......... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

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

Totals.............. 4| 77 21 137 .409| 73| 1 11| 3| 32| 1 40 4| 3

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 21.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 15 3 27 .444 Site: Provo, Utah (Smith Fieldhouse)

2 25 8 41 .415 Date: Apr 21, 2001 Attend: 1649 Time: 1:55

3 20 9 40 .275 Referees: Les Calles, Tom Given

4 17 1 29 .552 Paid Attendance: 1,535

BYU advances to MPSF Semifinals, Thurs. April 26

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