BYU looks to get back to its winning ways as the Cougars head to Malibu for a 1 vs. 2 battle against Pepperdine. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- BYU looks to put an end to its first two-match losing streak since the end of 2006 as the Cougars head to Malibu to take on the second-ranked Pepperdine Waves. The two teams met in a pair of exhibition matches in October, with BYU winning both matches, 3-1.
This is the Cougars' second consecutive MPSF matchup that pits the top-ranked team against the NCAA's No. 2 squad. Nearly two weeks ago, BYU split a pair of matches with then-No. 2 UC Irvine.
Pepperdine is one of only three opponents on this season's schedule that has a all-time winning record against BYU. The Waves own a 22-16 series advantage and a 15-5 lead in Malibu. After Pepperdine won the first six matches of the series, the Cougars got their first win on Feb. 12, 1993, during current co-head coach Shawn Patchell's senior season. Since 1994, BYU and Pepperdine have played evenly, with each school winning 12 of 24 matches. Since 2003, the two teams have split the annual two-match season series with the Waves picking up the last season sweep in 2002.
Last year, The Cougars met Pepperdine in a 1 vs. 2 battle similar to this season's matchup. BYU won a four-set match on Feb. 3 before being swept at the Smith Fieldhouse on Feb. 4, 2006.
LUCKY NUMBER .300
BYU is a perfect 9-0 this season in matches that they hit over .300. Conversely, the Cougars are 0-2 in matches where they hit under .200. BYU is coming off a season-low .239 hitting performance at Cal-Baptist.
PATCHELL NAMED USA VOLLEYBALL ASSISTANT
The U.S. Boys' Youth National Team will be guided by University of Hawai'i Assistant Coach Tino Reyes. He will be assisted by Brigham Young University Co-Head Coach Shawn Patchell and Stanford University Assistant Coach Ken Shibuya. The U.S. Boys' Youth National qualified for the 2007 FIVB World Championships Aug. 15-26 in Mexico by finishing second at the 2006 NORCECA Continental Boys' Youth Championship.
During the summer of 2005, Patchell coached the US World University Games team and in 2006, he was part of the U.S. Boys' Youth National Team coaching staff.
NEAR RECORD PERFORMANCES
BYU dominated UCLA in its Friday match. Two players had near-record setting nights in hitting percentage. Yosleyder Cala had the fifth best hitting night in BYU history when he posted a .789 hitting percentage (15-0-19). Not far behind him, Russell Holmes posted the sixth best performance when he hit at a .786 clip (12-1-14). As a team, the Cougars had a top-10 performance all time in hitting performance as they hit .500 collectively (51-12-78). The performance was witnessed by one of the top-15 largest crowds to watch a BYU volleyball match (5,537).
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Redshirt freshman setter Yamil Perez has been spreading the wealth evenly in the early going for the Cougars. Against UCLA, four different BYU players had double figures in kills with only Ivan Perez doing in twice. Along with Perez, Yosleyder Cala, Russell Holmes and Robby Stowell posted double-digit kills in a match.
Yamil Perez has kept the Cougars' opponents off balance as several BYU players posted double-digits in swings. The Cougars hit .500 against UCLA on Friday night while three BYU players posted over .500 hitting percentages.
BYU is off to its most dominating start in program history (in terms of sets won vs. sets lost) in its first nine matches. BYU has won 27 sets against only one loss. Previous to this season, the next best start in school history was the 2001 championship season when the Cougars started 10-0. In its first nine matches, BYU won 27 sets while losing three sets (two against Lewis and one against UCLA). The Cougars swept eight of their first 10 matches in 2001. This season BYU has swept eight of nine matches.
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.