Senior All-American Ivan Perez and the No. 3 BYU men's volleyball team will play two matches at Long Beach State Thursday and Friday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Tied atop the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings, the No. 3 BYU men's volleyball team (17-2, 12-2) will head to southern California for two matches at No. 4 Long Beach State (17-3, 12-2) Thursday and Friday that could determine home-court advantage in postseason play.
Although LBS holds a slight advantage in the all-time series record over BYU (16-15), the Cougars are 12-8 over the 49ers since the beginning of the 1999 BYU National Championship season. LBS beat BYU in the last three meetings between the two teams in Long Beach, all of which took place in the 2006 season. In total, BYU is 3-5 in three-set matches, 7-7 in four-set matches, and 5-4 in five-set matches against LBS.
Headlining the Cougar roster, senior All-American middle blocker Russell Holmes leads the nation with 109 blocks and an average of 1.64 per game. He also currently ranks fourth in the nation with a .474 hitting percentage. Senior All-American outside hitter Ivan Perez is 11th in the country averaging 4.38 kills per game and 13th in the country with an average of 4.96 points per game.
Long Beach State is 17-3 overall and 12-2 in the MPSF after a three-game sweep at UC San Diego on Wednesday evening, a four-game win at home over IPFW and a five-game loss to Penn State on Saturday. The 49ers are ranked No. 4 this week in the CSTV/ AVCA Coaches Poll and No. 4 in Molten/Volleyball. In the most recent NCAA National Statistics, the 49ers are second in the country in hitting percentage at .332.
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