Cougars Sprint Past UCI; Advance to Semi-finals

The top-ranked Cougars celebrate after defeating UC Irvine in just 1:22 in the first round of the MPSF Tournament on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After an hour and 22 minutes, the No. 1-ranked BYU men's volleyball team used a balanced offense to sprint past eighth-seeded UC Irvine in the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament at the Smith Fieldhouse. The game scores for the match were 30-24, 30-23, 30-21.

With the win, the Cougars improve to 25-4 overall, 20-2 in conference, and advance to the semi-finals of the MPSF tournament. As the highest remaining seed, BYU will host both the semi-final and final matches at the Smith Fieldhouse on Apr. 29 and May 1.

"I thought we put together an overall solid match," BYU head coach Tom Peterson said. "Irvine mixed things up a little, they tried a lot of different things, but we were able to handle whatever they threw at us. They are a well-coached team. They're young, and are going to be a very good team next year."

The Cougars used several players to dominate the match to hit a .443 percentage on the night, having no players in double-digit kills. All-American Jon Alleman and junior middle Mike Burke both led the team with nine kills each. Seniors Joe Hillman and Fernando Pessoa both added eight kills, and sophomore middle Victor Batista chipped in seven kills for the match. Three players -- Burke, Hillman and Batista -- led in hitting percentage with a .538 average.

Cougar setter Carlos Moreno, MPSF Player of the Year, finished the night with 38 assists, moving him past Hector Lebron into second place among BYU's all-time assist leaders. After the win over UC Irvine, Moreno has totaled 4, 391 assists after three years and needs 258 more assists to pass Jason Watson to become BYU's all-time assist leader.

UC Irvine finished its season at 14-18 overall and 8-14 in the MPSF. For the Anteaters, Kyle Weichert led the team with 11 kills out of 15 attempts, while committing no hitting errors and averaging a .733 percentage on the night.

"Irvine is a scary team," Peterson said. "It is nice to get back on track and beat a good team in three games. I think it shows we are focused for the long haul, hopefully four more games. These were big games for us tonight."

BYU combined for 12 team blocks to control the match, while the Anteaters tallied only 3.5 team blocks. Batista led the team with eight blocks and Burke contributed two service aces and four block assists. The Cougars also remained strong in passing with Alleman leading with 10 digs and libero Shawn Olmstead pitching in six digs.

"I thought we had some good touches on the ball," Peterson said. "We did a nice job digging the ball, we have to get good touches like that. That is what makes or breaks a national championship season."

BYU will take on the Waves of Pepperdine in the semi-final round of the tournament on Thursday, Apr. 29 at the Smith Fieldhouse. The first serve is set for 7 p.m. (MST). Following the Cougars' match, UCLA will face off against Long Beach State for the 9 p.m. match at the Fieldhouse. Tickets for next week's matches will go on sale on Monday and can be purchased at the Marriott Center Ticket Office.

Volleyball Box Score

2004 BYU Men's Volleyball Stats

UC Irvine vs BRIGHAM YOUNG (Apr 24, 2004 at Brigham Young Univ.)

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

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

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

1 BEMUS, Spencer...... 3| 5 3 11 .182| 0| 0 0| 1| 1| 0 1 1| 0| 5.5

2 PELZEL, Jimmy....... 3| 5 4 16 .062| 0| 0 4| 0| 5| 0 1 0| 0| 5.5

8 REID, Brett......... 3| 2 1 3 .333| 39| 1 1| 0| 4| 0 0 0| 0| 3.0

14 WEBBER, Matt........ 3| 7 10 23 -.130| 0| 0 3| 0| 4| 1 1 0| 0| 8.5

15 SMITH, David........ 3| 8 3 13 .385| 0| 0 8| 0| 2| 0 1 0| 0| 8.5

16 WEICHERT, Kyle...... 3| 11 0 15 .733| 0| 0 0| 0| 2| 0 1 0| 0| 11.5

6 FORD, Greg.......... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 2| 4| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

9 SPITTLE, Paul....... 1| 1 0 3 .333| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

11 JABLONSKY, Jayson... 2| 4 1 10 .300| 0| 0 4| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 4.0

12 FELL, BJ............ 2| 1 1 2 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

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Totals.............. 3| 44 23 96 .219| 39| 1 20| 3| 23| 1 5 1| 0| 48.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 3.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 14 6 25 .320 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 13 11 38 .053 UC Irvine........... 24 23 21 14-18, 8-14

3 17 6 33 .333 BRIGHAM YOUNG....... 30 30 30 25-4, 20-2

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| 9 2 13 .538| 1| 2 3| 0| 0| 0 4 0| 1| 13.0

5 MORENO, Carlos...... 3| 0 1 1-1.000| 38| 0 2| 0| 3| 0 4 1| 1| 2.0

11 HILLMAN, Joe........ 3| 8 1 13 .538| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 3 0| 0| 9.5

12 ALLEMAN, Jonathan... 3| 9 1 17 .471| 1| 0 2| 0| 10| 0 1 0| 0| 9.5

17 PESSOA, Fernando.... 3| 8 3 19 .263| 1| 0 3| 0| 3| 0 4 1| 0| 10.0

18 BATISTA, Victor..... 3| 7 0 12 .583| 0| 1 3| 0| 1| 0 8 2| 0| 12.0

2 RANGEL, Steffin..... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

7 GORNY, Chris........ 2| 2 0 4 .500| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 2.0

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

14 NEILSON, Rob........ 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

15 OLMSTEAD, Shawn..... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 1| 6| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

20 EVANS, TAYLOR....... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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

Totals.............. 3| 43 8 79 .443| 41| 3 13| 1| 24| 0 24 4| 2| 58.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 12.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 16 3 24 .542 Site: Brigham Young Univ. (Smith Fieldhouse)

2 13 5 32 .250 Date: Apr 24, 2004 Attend: 1946 Time: 1h 22m

3 14 0 23 .609 Referees: Verna Klubbin, Burt Fuller

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Tags: Results