Setter Yamil Perez and the No. 3 BYU men's volleyball team will face No. 4 Cal State Northridge in an MPSF semifinal match Thursday in Long Beach, Calif. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Playoffs will continue Thursday in Long Beach Calif., and No. 3 BYU will square off against No. 4 Cal State Northridge at 8 p.m. in a semifinal match.
The Cougars lead the series against the Matadors 24-15 and have won the last four meetings between the two teams. BYU beat CSUN twice in Provo earlier this season, once in four sets and then again in five the following night. When they met in Provo in the first round of the 2007 MPSF playoffs, BYU used its home-court advantage to sweep CSUN and advance to face future NCAA Champ UC Irvine. This will be the first neutral-site meeting between the two teams.
The Cougars are led by All-MPSF First Team honorees Russell Holmes and Ivan Perez. Both are returning All-Americans and All-America nominees again this season. Holmes is second in the nation in blocks per game (1.52) and fifth in the nation in attack percentage (.462). Perez is 14th in the country in kills per game (4.31). BYU as a team ranks fifth in the country in attack percentage at .309.
All-MPSF First Team selection Eric Vance leads the Matadors and is among the top ten in the nation in both kills, aces, and points. He ranks ninth in the nation with an average of 4.47 kills per game, fifth in the nation averaging .525 aces per game, and eighth in the nation with an average of 5.33 points per game. The Matadors rank second in the country in attack percentage at .326 on the season. They entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed with a 17-5 conference record.