Cougars Sweep Top-Ranked Warriors; Claim Homecourt Advantage for MPSF Playoffs | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Cougars Sweep Top-Ranked Warriors; Claim Homecourt Advantage for MPSF Playoffs

PROVO -- The second-ranked BYU men's volleyball team handed No. 1 Hawai'i its first 3-0 loss of the season on Friday, securing the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage throughout the MPSF Tournament. BYU blanked the Warriors, 31-29, 30-28, 30-23, to record its national leading 14th three-game victory of the season. The Cougars improve to 19-3, 13-3, while UH drops to 17-5, 12-4 on the season.

"We really struggled offensively this evening," BYU head coach Carl McGown said. "Our defense made the difference in a match that we should have easily been down 0-2. There is no other way to explain winning game-one, other than a miracle. It feels really good to win, but after losing a tough match a couple weeks back, I know how Coach Wilton is feeling."

The BYU defense held the nation's sixth-ranked offense to just .086 on the night, forcing 31 attack errors and recording 19 team blocks. All-American middle blocker Scott Bunker recorded a match-high nine blocks on the night, including two solos. Senior Mac Wilson came off the bench to add an additional five blocks, along with teammates Joaquin Acosta and All-America candidate Mike Wall.

"This is the best defensive team we have ever had here at BYU," McGown said. "Tonight's win was a total team victory. It was all about defense and had nothing to do with offense. Late in the match we let down a little, and were giving away points like jelleybeans. We tightened up and our defense pulled it out."

Hawai'i's Costas Theocharidis recorded 20 of the Warriors' 41 kills, hitting a team-leading .239. Three other UH players recorded negative hitting percentages on the night, recording 12 hitting errors on 32 swings. Acosta led BYU with eight kills, while Matt Olsen hit a team-best .500, including six kills on 10 attempts.

In game one, Hawai'i took a 29-26 lead after the Cougars were called in the net. Just one point away from defeat, BYU went on a 5-0 run to stun the Warriors and steal game one, 31-29. After an Olsen kill, McGown brought Luka Slabe off the bench to serve, replacing Lebron. Without a setter on the floor, Wall picked up point number 28 on a block and then fed Jaime Mayol to tie the match, 29-29. Wall teamed with Olsen on a block for the 30th point and a Slabe ace ended the comeback.

Hawai'i began game two unimpressed with the Cougar comeback, jumping out to and maintaining a four-point lead through much of the game. The Warriors pushed the lead to 26-20, before a Bunker kill fueled a season-high 7-0 run. The 6-foot-9 Wilson picked up a couple blocks and won a jaust to lead the comeback. Theocharidis would tie things up for the Warriors at 28-28, before a serving error and attack error would seal the Cougars' second-straight comeback, 30-28.

In the final game, BYU looked as if it would wrap things up in a hurry, rolling out to a commanding 11-3 lead. The Warriors regrouped and battled back, eventually evening things up at 20-20. Unphased by the Warriors' resurgence, the Cougars promptly posted six straight points, taking a 26-20 lead behind Wilson's three blocks. UH would pick up a couple more points, but Wall and Bunker teamed up to stuff a Warrior attack, ending the match, 30-23.

"We did a lousy job of closing," UH head coach Mike Wilton said. "It's not realy so much what they did, more than what we weren't able to do. BYU is a very good team, but I think we had more to do with the outcome than they did."

The two teams will square off again tomorrow night in the Smith Fieldhouse, beginning at 7 p.m. (MDT). Saturday's match will mark the regular-season finale for both teams.

By virtue of tonight's victory, the Cougars will play host to UC Irvine on Saturday, April 21 in the first-round of the MPSF Tournament. Match time and broadcast information has yet to be determined. The Anteaters defeated Pacific on Saturday, 3-2 to earn the last and final berth to the league tournament.

ADDITIONAL GAME NOTES:

• Including Friday's 3-0 win over No. 1 Hawai'i, the Cougars have notched 14 three-game victories on the season. Eight of those 13 wins have been against nationally-ranked opponents, including four wins against opponents ranked in the top-10. The Cougars have posted the most 3-0 wins in the MPSF, followed by UCLA and Hawai'i with nine. BYU is just one of two teams in the MPSF which have not lost a 3-0 game this season. All 10 other teams have been shutout at least once, including Long Beach State, Hawai'i, Pepperdine, USC and Stanford. The 2001 season marks the most 3-0 wins since the Cougars recorded 20 three-game victories en route to the NCAA National Championship in 1999. This season also marks only the second time in school history BYU has avoided a 3-0 defeat. From Jan. 31-Feb. 17, the Cougars laced together a streak of five straight 3-0 wins, equaling the school record for consecutive three-game victories. Friday's match marked the first three-game loss for the Warriors since April 22, 2000 (vs. USC).

• Friday's match marked the third third game the Cougars have played, featuring a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. The Cougars are a perfect 3-0 when playing in a one vs. two matchup, including wins over No. 1 UCLA and No. 1 Hawai'i. Then top-ranked BYU also defeated No. 2 Pepperdine earlier in the season.

• With Friday's win, the Cougars are 12-1 in the Smith Fieldhouse this season.

• Friday's match will marked the fourth time in BYU volleyball history the Cougars have battled on the oft unlucky "Friday the 13th". BYU has posted a 2-2 mark on the unluckiest day of the year. All four games have been decided in three-straight games, including a 3-0 win on Feb. 13, 1998 against USC and a 3-0 win against Hawai'i on April 13, 2001. BYU has played three home games on the 13th, posting a 2-1 record.

#1 Hawai'i vs Brigham Young (Apr 13, 2001 at Provo, Utah)

#1 Hawai'i | 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 MILADINOVIC, Dejan.. 3| 5 3 16 .125| 3| 0 0| 0| 1| 1 5 0| 0

4 TUYAY, Kimo......... 3| 0 2 3 -.667| 32| 1 2| 0| 9| 0 4 0| 2

6 ZIMET, Eyal......... 3| 5 6 13 -.077| 1| 0 4| 0| 7| 0 0 0| 0

9 THEOCHARIDIS, Costas 3| 20 9 46 .239| 0| 2 1| 0| 7| 0 3 0| 0

10 DAVIS, Brenton...... 3| 1 4 16 -.188| 2| 0 0| 0| 5| 0 3 1| 0

22 TUKUAFU, Tory....... 3| 4 4 12 .000| 0| 0 4| 1| 1| 0 1 0| 0

7 PODLEWSKI, Vernon... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 6| 0 0 0| 0

15 CHING, Tony......... 2| 6 3 10 .300| 0| 0 0| 0| 3| 0 0 0| 0

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Totals.............. 3| 41 31 116 .086| 38| 3 11| 1| 39| 1 16 1| 2

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 9.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 13 10 35 .086 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 18 8 37 .270 #1 Hawai'i.......... 29 28 23 17-5, 12-4

3 10 13 44 -.068 Brigham Young....... 31 30 30 19-3, 13-3

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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2 WALL, Mike.......... 3| 4 7 16 -.188| 2| 0 1| 0| 8| 1 4 0| 0

3 ACOSTA, Joaquin..... 3| 8 1 26 .269| 0| 0 3| 0| 2| 0 5 0| 0

4 OLSEN, Matt......... 2| 6 1 10 .500| 0| 0 3| 0| 1| 0 3 0| 1

9 LEBRON, Hector...... 3| 2 2 6 .000| 37| 0 1| 0| 5| 0 2 1| 0

12 ALLEMAN, Jonathan... 3| 6 5 16 .062| 0| 0 0| 1| 2| 0 1 0| 0

13 BUNKER, Scott....... 3| 7 2 15 .333| 1| 0 0| 0| 8| 2 7 0| 1

5 WILSON, Mac......... 2| 4 1 7 .429| 1| 0 1| 0| 2| 1 4 2| 0

7 MAYOL, Jaime........ 3| 4 0 10 .400| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 3 1| 0

17 PESSOA, Fernando.... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 1| 5| 0 0 0| 0

18 SLABE, Luka......... 3| 5 3 15 .133| 0| 1 1| 1| 5| 0 1 0| 0

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Totals.............. 3| 46 22 121 .198| 41| 1 10| 3| 38| 4 30 4| 2

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 19.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 15 8 35 .200 Site: Provo, Utah (Smith Fieldhouse)

2 17 5 44 .273 Date: Apr 13, 2001 Attend: 4581 Time: 2:00

3 14 9 42 .119 Referees: Les Calles, Tom Given