Ivan Perez led BYU in kills in the first match against Cal-Baptist last season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- BYU will open its regular season with two home matches against Cal-Baptist this weekend. It will mark the second consecutive year the Cougars will open their season against the Lancers at home. Last year, BYU won both matches in impressive fashion (3- 0 and 3-1) on its way to a 7-0 start.
The Cougars and Lancers will be playing for the fifth and sixth time with BYU holding a 4-1 advantage in the previous five matchups. The last time Cal-Baptist beat BYU was Jan. 14, 2005 when the Lancers edged the Cougars in five games.
Cal-Baptist is traditionally one of the best NAIA schools. The Lancers are the three-time defending NAIA National Champion. CBU dropped its season opener against No. 1 UC Irvine on Wednesday.
Every home match will have a free live stats feed option. The live stats feed can be accessed by visiting the men's volleyball schedule page at www.byucougars.com. The direct link is http://www.byucougars.com/Schedule.jsp?SP=201&YR=2006. The live stats can be launched by clicking on the "Live Stats" link for the appropriate game.
Also available for the second season in a row is a live video feed through CSTV All-Access. Users must subscribe to this service. More information, such as cost and direct links to the CSTV All-Access page can be found by visiting the the schedule page and cliking on the "Live Video" link.
Jarom Jordan will provide the play-by-play coverage for this week's matches with Jordan Feinauer offering commentary.
Last season BYU had one All American and five All-MPSF performers. Three of the five return this season including second team AVCA All American Russell Holmes. Holmes was also second team All-MPSF. Ivan Perez earned an MPSF honorable mention citation last season and was the first BYU player to be named to an All America team as a freshman two seasons ago. Yosleyder Cala was named to the All-MPSF third team last year.
COACHES AND PLAYERS
BYU's entire coaching staff is coaching at its alma mater. Co-interim head coaches Ryan Millar and Shawn Patchell both starred for the Cougars in their playing days while assistant coach Rob Neilson played for earned All-MPSF honors for BYU just last season.
COUGARS IN PRESEASON RANKINGS
For the second consecutive season, BYU has made an appearance in the preseason top-5. Last season the Cougars were ranked preseason No. 1. This year, BYU starts the season ranked second behind reigning Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season champion UC Irvine.
EVERY THREE YEARS...
Since BYU's first national championship in 1999, the Cougars have won the NCAA tournament a total of three times (1999, 2001 and 2004). Since the '99 season, BYU has won the NCAA Championship at least once every three years.
Next week the Cougars will invite defending National Champion and third-ranked UCLA to the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU expects the Fieldhouse to be filled to capacity as it will be the students' first week back from the Christmas Holiday. Both matches will start at 7 p.m. and both will be televised by BYU-TV.