Late Surge Leads to Five-Game Victory

Senior outside hitter Fernando Pessoa recorded 20 kills in the five-game thriller against USC to end the regular season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After dropping the first two games to USC on Saturday, the top-ranked BYU men's volleyball team fought back to claim the final three games of the regular-season finale against the Trojans at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo. With the 28-30, 27-30, 30-27, 30-21, 15-9 victory, the Cougars close out the regular season with a 24-4 overall record, including an impressive 20-2 league mark.

"It seemed like it was going to be business as usual tonight. Entering the match, I thought we were focused," BYU head coach Tom Peterson said. "We showed a tendency to relax. USC came out and passed well in the first two games, that's why they won. They were passing with a very high efficiency and we were not concentrating on the things that we needed to do. We were finally able to concentrate on those things as the match went on."

With the win, the Cougars finished the regular season two matches ahead of Long Beach State in the MPSF standings, and will now play host to UC Irvine in the first round of the MPSF Tournament, beginning Saturday, April 24 at 7 p.m. (MDT) in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Down 2-0 in the match, the Cougars turned up the top-ranked heat and took control of the match. BYU hit just .250 in the first two games, combining just 32 kills on 72 attempts with 14 errors. However, the Cougars showed steady improvement as the match went on, hitting .441 in game three, .559 in game four and a blistering .600 in the final game of the match.

Despite the slow start, National Player-of-the-Year candidate Fernando Pessoa led the Cougars with 20 kills on 36 swings. Four other Cougars posted double-digit kills, including Victor Batista who racked up 16 kills on 23 swings with no errors to hit a blazing .696 on the night. Joe Hillman was credited with 13 kills, while Jonathan Alleman posted 11 and Michael Burke tallied 10 kills.

"We're good enough to out-offense any team," Peterson said. "Our offense is good enough to do that, we just need to work on the basics. We finally got it going after a slow start."

The Cougars' offense wasn't the only thing to show up a little late. After being out-blocked 9.0-2.0 in the first two games, and forcing only nine Trojan errors along the way, the defense stiffened in the final three games, including a smothering performance in the final game of the match. In games three and four, the Cougars out-blocked USC 6.5 -- 0. In the final game of the match, when BYU needed it most, the defense racked up an impressive six blocks. The BYU defense gave up just four Trojan kills on 15 swings, forcing seven errors for a -.200 average.

Batista led the defense with eight blocks, including two solos. Burke, Hillman and Carlos Moreno each had four blocks while Alleman was credited with three stops.

"As the match went on, we finally found our blocking," Peterson said. "With everything that has gone on the past week, all the distractions, we need to refocus. We need to play better. There are no little things when it comes to the playoffs."

BYU will play host to UC Irvine on Saturday, April 24 in the first round of the MPSF Tournament. Match time is slated for 7 p.m. (MDT) at the Smith Fieldhouse where the Cougars have posted an impressive 13-1 record this season. With a win over the Anteaters, the Cougars would host the semifinal and final rounds of the league tournament. The semifinals will be played on Thursday, April 29, beginning at 7 p.m. (MDT), while the championship match will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 1. The winner of the MPSF Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA National Championship tournament to be played in Honolulu, Hawaii on May 6-8.

Volleyball Box Score

2004 BYU Men's Volleyball Stats

USC vs BRIGHAM YOUNG (Apr 17, 2004 at Brigham Young Univ.)

USC | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

5 BAILEY, Jeff........ 0| 10 4 23 .261| 2| 0 3| 0| 5| 0 4 0| 1| 12.0

6 GILMOUR, J.T........ 0| 1 0 1 1.000| 56| 0 1| 0| 3| 1 3 1| 0| 3.5

7 TIPPETT, Blake...... 0| 14 3 25 .440| 0| 0 3| 1| 8| 0 1 0| 1| 14.5

14 GRANGEIRO, Joao..... 0| 9 6 27 .111| 0| 0 2| 1| 5| 0 1 0| 0| 9.5

17 MOSKO, Matt......... 0| 11 7 22 .182| 2| 1 5| 0| 3| 0 3 0| 0| 13.5

18 MCKNIFF, Chris...... 0| 12 4 28 .286| 0| 0 2| 0| 1| 0 4 0| 0| 14.0

4 BARRON, Fernando.... 0| 2 1 3 .333| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 2.0

9 LEAL, Pedro......... 0| 4 2 7 .286| 0| 0 2| 0| 3| 0 2 2| 0| 5.0

16 BURDEN, Evan........ 0| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 1| 10| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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

Totals.............. 5| 63 27 136 .265| 60| 1 18| 3| 39| 1 18 3| 2| 74.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 10.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 17 5 36 .333 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 TEAM RECORDS

2 15 4 27 .407 USC................. 30 30 27 21 9 6-23;4-18

3 15 6 31 .290 BRIGHAM YOUNG....... 28 27 30 30 15 24-4;20-2

4 12 5 27 .259

5 4 7 15 -.200

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

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

5 MORENO, Carlos...... 5| 6 1 11 .455| 63| 2 5| 0| 7| 1 3 1| 0| 10.5

7 GORNY, Chris........ 5| 2 0 2 1.000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 1| 0| 2.0

11 HILLMAN, Joe........ 5| 13 4 32 .281| 0| 0 6| 0| 4| 1 3 1| 0| 15.5

12 ALLEMAN, Jonathan... 5| 11 4 29 .241| 3| 0 4| 0| 9| 0 3 0| 0| 12.5

17 PESSOA, Fernando.... 5| 20 10 36 .278| 1| 0 7| 0| 2| 0 2 1| 0| 21.0

18 BATISTA, Victor..... 5| 16 0 23 .696| 0| 0 4| 0| 1| 2 6 5| 0| 21.0

3 BURKE, Michael...... 4| 10 1 16 .562| 0| 1 2| 0| 0| 0 4 1| 0| 13.0

8 HYTE, David......... 1| 1 0 1 1.000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

10 CARPENTER, Cory..... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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

15 OLMSTEAD, Shawn..... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 2| 0 0| 1| 6| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

20 EVANS, TAYLOR....... 1| 0 1 1-1.000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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

Totals.............. 5| 79 21 151 .384| 69| 3 30| 1| 30| 4 21 10| 0| 96.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 14.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 18 6 43 .279 Site: Brigham Young Univ. (Smith Fieldhouse)

2 14 8 29 .207 Date: Apr 17, 2004 Attend: 3204 Time: 2H 23M

3 19 4 34 .441 Referees: Tom Given, Burt Fuller

4 21 2 35 .543

5 7 1 10 .600

AttachmentSize
Late-Surge-Leads-to-Five-Game-Victory.pdf38.71 KB
Tags: Results