The Cougars hope to get off to a good start in MPSF play when they welcome defending national champion UCLA to the Smith Fieldhouse this weekend. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Coming off a weekend sweep of NAIA power Cal-Baptist, No. 2 BYU stays at home as the Cougars welcome No. 3 UCLA. The Bruins went 2-1 last weekend at the Elephant Bar Tournament hosted by UCSB. UCLA lost to No. 1 UC Irvine in the finals of the tournament.
The BYU-UCLA rivalry has been one of the closest rivalries in the past three years. Since 2004, the Cougars and Bruins have split the two-match series every year. BYU does hold an 8-4 record in the last 12 matches dating back to the 1999 season.
The Bruins dominated the early years of the head-to-head match ups. UCLA won the first seven matches the two schools played and dropped only one game over that stretch. The Cougars will be looking for their first season sweep since 2003.
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.
Both matches against UCLA will be televised on BYU-TV with Chris Tunis doing the play-by-play, Steve Vail adding commentary and Toni Stauffer doing sideline reports. Friday's match will also be carried live on KBYU while Saturday's match will be tape-delayed at 10 p.m.
BYU finished its exhibition schedule having won four of six matches. The Cougars previously played against four of Canada's best teams in Edmonton, Alberta, going 2-2 including a victory over defending Canadian Collegiate Champion Trinity Western. Impressively, the Cougars won two matches against Canada's best with just one week of practice whereas the Canadian teams had been practicing for two months.
After the Canadian tournament, BYU played two home matches against conference rival Pepperdine. The Cougars won both matches in four games.
LAST WEEK RECAP
FRIDAY--The No. 2 ranked BYU Men's Volleyball team began the 2007 campaign the same way they did the 2006 season by beating Cal Baptist in three games 30-26, 30-18, 30-25 in front of 1,631 fans at the Smith Fieldhouse Friday night. Junior Ivan Perez had a team-best 13 kills on .550 hitting percentage while All-American Russell Holmes had seven kills and on a team-high .636 hitting percentage. Freshman Robby Stowell had a stellar performance in his first match as a Cougar with 11 kills, five digs and three blocks.
SATURDAY--Freshmen Robby Stowell and Andrew Stewart paced a balanced BYU attack as the Cougars cruised to a 3-1 victory over Cal-Baptist 30-24, 30-20, 24-30, 30-21. BYU (2-0) hit over .400 in the first two games before struggling in game three and only hitting .105. The Cougars finished the match hitting at a .338 mark.
STO "WELL DONE"
In the first two matches of his collegiate career, 18-year-old true freshman Robby Stowell led BYU to a weekend sweep of three-time defending NAIA champion Cal-Baptist. In his first match, Stowell recorded 11 kills--good for second on the team in the three-game sweep--against only three attack errors. Stowell hit .400, recorded a service ace, five digs and three block assists. On Saturday evening, Stowell recorded a double-double
with 17 kills and 10 digs. He recorded a .429 hitting percentage on Saturday and picked up two block assists.
Stowell's weekend totals included 28 kills (a team-best four KPG) on a .417 hitting percentage. He started all seven games in the two matches and was second on the team over the weekend with 15 digs.
The Cougars got off to a hot start hitting the ball against Cal-Baptist last weekend. Ivan Perez, Russell Holmes and Robby Stowell all hit over .400 in BYU's two matches over the weekend. Perez hit .488 (26-5-43) for the Cougars while Holmes hit .452 (18-4-31) and Stowell hit at a .417 clip (28-8-48).
The Cougars head out on the road for the first time when they travel to Stanford to take on the Cardinal. BYU will have two straight weeks on the road as the Cougars will face Stanford next week before heading to Hawaii for the Outrigger Tournament in Honolulu in two weeks.
The Cougars have won six in a row against Stanford and hold a 20-8 all-time record against the Cardinal.