Match Notes - Cougars to Play in Long Beach Tournament

Rob Neilson and the Cougars will play Ohio State and Rutger-Newark at the Long Beach Tournament. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

COUGARS HEAD TO LONG BEACH TOURNAMENT

After losing back-to-back matches for the first time this season, the Cougars will look to get back on track when the play in the Long Beach State Active Ankle Tournament this Friday and Saturday. BYU dropped to No. 2 in the nation and 14-4 overall and 12-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after losing two matches to UC Irvine.

In the Long Beach tournament, the Cougars will play Ohio State (15-4 overall, 3-2 MIVA) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and then Rutgers-Newark (7-10 overall, 3-3 EIVA) on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. BYU coach Tom Peterson said he hopes the Cougars will bounce back from last weekend's losses this weekend.

"More than anything we just need to get better at being consistent," he said. "We're going to work on being a little more mentally tough and serving and passing better."

BYU is 10-4 against Ohio State and 4-2 against Rutgers-Newark. The Cougars have won the last four meetings of each series. BYU last played Ohio State in 2004 and won two matches on the road. The Cougars last played Rutgers-Newark in 2000 and won 3-0 at home.

Stuart Katz leads Ohio State, averaging 3.31 kills per game and 2.05 digs per game. Daniel Matthews is the Buckeyes' setter and averages 12.65 assists per game along with 1.38 digs and 0.84 blocks. Matthews was the starting setter as a freshman during Ohio State's Final Four run in 2005.

"Ohio State is a tough team," Peterson said. "They are very experienced. A lot of their guys played on last year's Final Four team."

Rutgers-Newark enters the weekend at 7-10 overall and 3-3 in the EIVA. The Scarlet Knights are led by the Honsberger brothers, Brian and Eric. Brian leads the team in hitting percentage and blocks at .388 and 1.27 per game, while Eric is first in kills per game at 3.68.

Yosleyder Cala leads BYU in kills at 4.29 per game and is hitting .430. On Friday against Irvine he had 32 kills, the second highest single match total in BYU rally scoring history and a career and team-season high. Russell Holmes leads the team in hitting percentage (.449) and blocks per game (1.49).

The Cougars will have a week off following the Long Beach Tournament.

MATCH NOTES

NO. 2 BYU COUGARS (14-4, 12-4 MPSF) vs. NO. 11 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (15-4, 3-2 MIVA)

Friday March 17, 2006 - 5:30 p.m. PST - The Pyramid (5,000) - Long Beach, Calif.

Coaches: BYU, Tom Peterson (at BYU: 86-25 in fourth year, career: 338-155)

Ohio State, Pete Hanson (at Ohio State: 429-243 in 22nd year, career: 433-252 in 23rd year)

Series: BYU leads, 10-4

NO. 2 BYU COUGARS (14-4, 12-4 MPSF) vs. RUTGERS-NEWARK (7-10, 3-3 EIVA Tait)

Saturday, March 18, 2006 • 5:30 p.m. PST • The Pyramid (5,000) • Long Beach, Calif.

Coaches: BYU, Tom Peterson (at BYU: 86-25 in fourth year, career: 338-155)

Rutgers-Newark, Sean Byron (at R-N: 91-97 in fourth year, career: 129-128 in 10th year)

Series: BYU leads, 4-2

LAST MATCHES - BYU vs. UC IRVINE

The Cougars fell to 14-4 overall and 12-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with two five-game losses to then No. 2 UC Irvine. In both matches, BYU lost game one and then came back to take games two and three to lead 2-1. In the first match, the Anteaters won a back-and-forth game four, 36-34, to tie the match. In game five, BYU held a 10-6 lead before Irvine scored three-straight to pull within one. Down 11-9, the Anteaters scored on a kill and then back-to-back service aces to take the lead at 12-11. Irvine went on to win the game 15-13 to take the match. In the second match, the Anteaters beat BYU 30-24 to force a fifth game, where Irvine won easily, 15-10. Yosleyder Cala led the Cougars in the first match with 32 kills and 14 digs. In the second match, he had 18 kills and Ivan Perez added 17.

THE POLLS

BYU dropped to No. 2 in the CSTV/AVCA Division I-II Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll and the Molten/Volleyball poll after back-to-back five-game losses to then No. 2 and current No. 1 UC Irvine. The Cougars held the top spot for four-straight weeks, starting Feb. 13 after two wins over USC.

A LOOK AT OHIO STATE AND RUTGERS-NEWARK

Ohio State is 15-4 overall and 3-2 in the MIVA. The Buckeyes are currently on a four-match win streak, including a 3-0 win over then No. 10 Ball State on Feb. 25. Ohio State is 3-1 again MPSF teams, including two wins over UC San Diego and one over UCLA and a loss to Hawai`i. Stuart Katz leads the Buckeyes in kills at 3.31 while Robbie Klein is second at 2.94. Rutgers-Newark enters the weekend at 7-10 overall and 3-3 in the EIVA. The Scarlet Knights are led by the Honsberger brothers, Brian and Eric. Brian leads the team in hitting percentage and blocks at .388 and 1.27 per game while Eric is first in kills per game at 3.68.

LAST TIME VS. OHIO STATE AND RUTGERS-NEWARK

BYU last played Ohio State in 2004, when the teams played back-to-back matches, Jan. 23 and 24. The wins started the Cougars' 21-match win streak, a school record. BYU won the first meeting in a sweep and was led by Fernando Pessoa's 19 kills. In the second match, the Cougars won 3-1 and were led by Jonathan Alleman, who had 16 kills. BYU last played Rutgers-Newark in 2000. The Cougars won the match 3-0 with Mike Wall leadin the way with 22 kills.

AttachmentSize
Match-Notes---Cougars-to-Play-in-Long-Beach-Tournament.pdf1.43 MB