Junior opposite Kent Tuttle (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
The No. 8 ranked BYU men’s volleyball team (11-8, 7-5 MPSF) returns home to Provo after spending the last three weekends on the road. The Cougars host MPSF foe No. 5 Long Beach State (10-8, 7-6 MPSF) for matches on Friday and Saturday nights, both at 7 p.m. MT in the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars are coming off back-to-back wins over No. 4 Penn State and IPFW at the Long Beach State Active Ankle Tournament last weekend. Sophomore outside hitter Kevin Sagers led BYU with a total of 25 kills over both nights and recorded a career-high three service aces against the Nittany Lions.
Coming off the same tournament, the 49ers were led by Dean Bittner who was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I-II Men’s National Player of the Week and MPSF Co-Player of the Week after leading Long Beach State to a pair of wins over Penn State and IPFW.
Long Beach St. holds a slight advantage in the all-time series record over BYU (18-15). LBS has won five of the last seven meetings between the two teams, however the Cougars have claimed wins in six of the last seven meetings in Provo. In total, BYU is 3-6 in three-set matches, 7-8 in four-set matches, and 5-4 in five-set matches against the 49ers.
Live stats can be accessed by visiting BYU’s men’s volleyball schedule page at www.byucougars.com. The live stats can be launched by clicking on the “Live Stats” link for the appropriate game on the schedule page.
Coming Off...A Sweep Against IPFW
BYU’s No. 9 men’s volleyball team remained perfect on the weekend with a 3-0 sweep of IPFW on Saturday. The win marked the second in as many nights for the Cougars as they competed at the Long Beach State Active Ankle Tournament. With the victory BYU improves to 11-8 on the season.
Kevin Sagers knocked down a match-leading 11 kills, marking consecutive double-digit kill nights for the sophomore outside hitter. Redshirt freshman Futi Tavana added eight kills and a team-high seven blocks.
The Cougar defense held the Mastodons to a -0.01 attack percentage for the match, the lowest by a BYU opponent this season.
Last Year Against Long Beach State
March 20, 2008
In a contest to determine the No. 1 team in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Standings, the No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball team (17-3, 12-3) fell to No. 4 Long Beach State (18-3, 13-2) in three sets Thursday (23-30, 28-30, 27-30) and will look to even the score against the 49ers Friday.
Outside hitters Andrew Stewart and Ivan Perez had recorded double-digit kills in the match with 12 and 10, respectively. However, as a team the Cougars were out-hit in total kills at 36-54 and in attack percentage at .282 to .237.
Long Beach State’s Paul Lotman and Dean Bittner had 18 kills apiece to lead all hitters. The home team also had eight service aces to BYU’s none. Defensively, the 49ers tallied 6.5 total team blocks to the Cougars 5.5.
March 21, 2008
For the second night in a row the No. 3 BYU men’s volleyball team (17-4, 12-4) was upset by No. 4 Long Beach State (19-3, 14-2) on the road Friday, this time in four sets (25-30, 26-30, 30-28, 24-30).
All-American senior outside hitter Ivan Perez had an outstanding night recording his seventh double-double of the season despite the team’s loss. He produced a match-leading 26 kills at a .354 clip with 10 digs and four block assists. Sophomore outside hitter Andrew Stewart joined Perez in double figures with 12 kills of his own.
Long Beach State became only the second team this season to hit above .300 against BYU. The 49ers hit .338 as a squad while the Cougars reached only .266. Both teams blocked well with Long Beach State tallying 14 total team blocks to BYU’s 12.
UCLA comes to Provo as the Cougars host two matches with the Bruins on March 27 & 28. Both matches will start at 7 p.m. MT at the Smith Fieldhouse.