COUGARS WIN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Sophomore Victor Batista celebrates after the Cougars defeated Long Beach State in five games to win the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

HONOLULU -- The top-ranked BYU men's volleyball team overcame a 10-6 deficit in game five to win the 2004 NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship on Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. The win marks the third national title for the Cougars and their second in the past four years.

"I don't know how we won tonight," BYU head coach Tom Peterson said. "It won't say it in any of the stat sheets. It was probably our lowest hitting percentage of the year. On the stat sheet, they outplayed us. But, the bottom line is, it just seemed like we had the heart whenever we needed it. The team absolutely did it at the end, just like they've done all year.

"I don't know how many matches we were down in this season, but it was a big number. Maybe it's because we've been there before, maybe it's a team of destiny. But, it sure doesn't show up in the stats--what these guys have inside. It's all about heart and playing as a team. That's exactly how we won."

BYU head coach Tom Peterson also made NCAA history on Saturday, becoming the first men's volleyball coach to win a National Championship with two different schools. (He led Penn State to a national title in 1994.) With the 15-30, 30-18, 20-30, 32-30, 19-17 win over the Beach, the Cougars improved to 29-4 on the season, marking the second highest single-season win total in BYU volleyball history.

Saturday's win also marked the sixth straight over Long Beach State, dating back to the 2003 season. The Cougars and 49'ers met four times this season, with BYU winning all four matches--three in five-game thrillers.

Long Beach State gained a quick 19-6 lead in game one and cruised to a 30-15 win, marking the worst-ever rally scoring loss for the Cougars.

In game two, momentum turned quickly in favor of the Cougars as they jumped out to a 16-8 lead en route to a 30-18 victory.

The match shifted towards LBSU in game three as the 49ers broke an 11-11 tie to end the game on a 19-9 run. BYU then extended the match by winning a fourth game that included 13 ties, but only two lead changes.

"I don't remember anything like that," Peterson said. "That was an incredible match. The momentum changes throughout the match were incredible. That was very unique and I don't know how to explain it."

The Cougars rallied from a 10-6, then 12-9 deficit in the fifth game and saved two championship points to win the match, 19-17. Jonathan Alleman pounded a kill, which was followed by a Scott Touzinsky attack error for championship point. Alleman scored four kills in the final game which saw seven ties. BYU had three match point opportunities, while the 49ers could not capitalize on their two chances.

Down 10-6 in the final game, Peterson called a timeout.

"I didn't say much, I didn't have to," Peterson said. "I wish I could tell you I was real involved in this magical stuff, but I'm not. The guys are the magic. It's done in practice ever day, it's done in the games. That's just the feeling you have, you don't even have to say it at times. I guess it's just magic."

Alleman led the Cougars with 17 points on 13 kills, two block solos and four total blocks. BYU's Joe Hillman added 14 kills, one block solo and two block assists. Fernando Pessoa turned in 13 killls, nine digs, two block solos and a block assist in the victory, while Michael Burke charted seven kills and seven block assists. Carlos Moreno, the AVCA Division I-II National Player of the Year, also earned the tournament's most outstanding player as he led the Cougars to a .252 team attack percentage in the championship match with 51 assists, three kills and four block assists. Victor Batista contributed nine kills with a team-high .538 attack percentage.

LBSU was led by Touzinsky's 17 kills and 24 overall points that included five aces and four block assists. Jeff Wootton chalked up 16 kills and 10 digs for a double-double, while Duncan Budinger hit .609 with 15 kills and four blocks. David Lee put up 13 kills and four block assists in the loss. Tyler Hildebrand led the 49ers to a .312 attack percentage with 65 assists. Nathan Hagstrom also turned in eight kills and six digs in the loss.

"Tonight was a perfect lesson, you just can't give up," Peterson said. "I want to say that everyone on this team is special. We've been like a family all year long. Tonight, before the match, I wrote 'family, team and heart on the board. That's what this team has been all about this season."

Volleyball Box Score

2004 BYU Men's Volleyball Stats

No. 2 Long Beach St. vs BRIGHAM YOUNG (May 08, 2004 at Honolulu, HI)

No. 2 Long Beach St. | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

1 Caldwell, Tyler..... 0| 16 5 28 .393| 3| 0 4| 0| 10| 0 1 0| 0| 16.5

3 White, Phillip...... 0| 3 1 4 .500| 65| 0 3| 0| 3| 2 1 0| 0| 5.5

5 Hildebrand, Tyler... 0| 8 8 19 .000| 0| 3 6| 0| 6| 0 2 1| 0| 12.0

6 Barbosa, Thiago..... 0| 17 11 38 .158| 0| 5 2| 0| 8| 0 4 1| 0| 24.0

10 May, Justin......... 0| 15 1 23 .609| 1| 0 2| 0| 1| 1 3 0| 0| 17.5

12 Hutton, Norm........ 0| 13 3 25 .400| 0| 0 3| 0| 3| 0 4 0| 0| 15.0

2 Wootton, Jeff....... 0| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 1 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

4 Coe, Clint.......... 0| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 2| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

8 Hagstrom, Nathan.... 0| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 1 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

11 Kijewski, Robert.... 0| 0 0 0 .000| 2| 0 0| 1| 3| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

13 Liles, Teddy........ 0| 0 0 1 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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Totals.............. 5| 72 29 138 .312| 71| 10 24| 1| 35| 3 15 2| 0| 92.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 10.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 14 4 23 .435 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 TEAM RECORDS

2 12 4 28 .286 No. 2 Long Beach St. 30 18 30 30 17 (28-7)

3 19 5 27 .519 BRIGHAM YOUNG....... 15 30 20 32 19 (29-4)

4 20 10 40 .250

5 7 6 20 .050

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...... 5| 7 3 17 .235| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 7 2| 0| 10.5

5 MORENO, Carlos...... 5| 3 2 7 .143| 51| 0 1| 0| 2| 0 4 1| 0| 5.0

11 HILLMAN, Joe........ 5| 14 4 26 .385| 1| 0 0| 0| 4| 1 2 0| 0| 16.0

12 ALLEMAN, Jonathan... 5| 13 6 29 .241| 2| 1 6| 4| 6| 2 2 0| 0| 17.0

17 PESSOA, Fernando.... 5| 13 8 31 .161| 1| 0 4| 1| 9| 2 1 1| 0| 15.5

18 BATISTA, Victor..... 5| 9 2 13 .538| 0| 0 2| 0| 4| 0 2 1| 0| 10.0

7 GORNY, Chris........ 5| 1 2 8 -.125| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 1 0| 0| 1.5

14 NEILSON, Rob........ 4| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 1| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

15 OLMSTEAD, Shawn..... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 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

TEAM................ | | | | 4| | | | 0.0

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

Totals.............. 5| 60 27 131 .252| 57| 1 14| 10| 33| 5 19 5| 0| 75.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 14.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 7 6 23 .043 Site: Honolulu, HI (Stan Sheriff Center)

2 20 4 31 .516 Date: May 08, 2004 Attend: 4105 Time: 2:19

3 8 7 29 .034 Referees: Alan Stankaitis, Ken Taylor

4 14 3 28 .393

5 11 7 20 .200

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Tags: Results