Cougars Set for MPSF Tournament; Await First-Round Opponent

PROVO -- Following a two-match sweep of 14th-ranked UC Santa Barbara in the regular-season finale last weekend, the sixth-ranked BYU men's volleyball team (18-8, 13-6) has clinched the fifth-seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. Though the field of eight teams has been determined, the Cougars will await the results of a couple key MPSF matches this week, which will determine their next opponent, as well as their destination for first-round action.

Currently, Long Beach State (15-2) is in a position to enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed, however, last year's national runner-up has yet to play UCLA and a road contest at USC. No matter the results, LBSU can finish no worse than a fourth seed and is guaranteed to host a first-round match. USC and Pepperdine are neck-and-neck for the No. 2 seed at 14-3 a piece, however if the season were to end today, Pepperdine would claim the higher seed due to head-to-head competition against the Trojans. USC has yet to play at Loyola Marymount and a home match against Long Beach State. Pepperdine will close out the regular-season with a match at UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount. Like LBSU, both teams are assured a top-four seeding and are assured of hosting a first-round match. UCLA is currently listed as the No. 4 seed with a 13-4 record. The Bruins have yet to face Long Beach State and UC Irvine. With two losses over the week, UCLA would end up in a tie with BYU at 13-6, however due to head-to-head competition, the Bruins would hang on to the No. 4 seed and play host to the Cougars in the first round of the tournament.

With LBSU, USC, Pepperdine and UCLA assured of hosting a first-round match, BYU will be traveling back to California next weekend, but its opponent is still in question. The Cougars have posted a combined record of 2-4 against the top-four teams, including wins over USC and Pepperdine. BYU lost in five games at Long Beach State and forced two, four-game matches at UCLA.

Hawaii will finish as the sixth seed with a current record of 11-6. The Rainbows will conclude the regular season with back-to-back home contests against Pacific this week. No matter the results, Hawai'i can not pass BYU due to head-to-head competition. Stanford (9-8) is in and will likely compete as the No. 7 seed. The Cardinal have yet to play at Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. Loyola Marymount has been listed as the final team to make the field of eight. LMU (8-9) will finish the regular-season with home matches against USC and Pepperdine.

Following is the MPSF Tournament schedule.

First Round (April 22, 2000)

Match 1 - #8 seed at #1 seed

Match 2 - #5 seed at #4 seed

Match 3 - #6 seed at #3 seed

Match 4 - #7 seed at #2 seed

(Long Beach State, USC, Pepperdine and UCLA will serve as first-round hosts. However, their seedings have yet to be determined.)

Semifinals: (April 27, 2000)

Match 5 - Semi-Final 1 - Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2

Match 6 - Semi-Final 2 - Winner of Match 3 vs. Winner of Match 4