(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
After splitting a pair of matches at then-No. 2 Pepperdine to close the regular season, the No. 5 BYU men’s volleyball team (17-12, 13-9 MPSF) goes to No. 2 Cal State Northridge (23-6, 16-6 MPSF) for the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Men’s Volleyball Tournament. Saturday will mark BYU’s third match at CSUN this season. The Cougars suffered two sweeps by the then-No. 1 Matadors in March.
BYU’s 3-1 win at Pepperdine last weekend secured a series split with the Waves. The Cougars have recorded series splits with the nation’s first-, second- and fifth-ranked teams each of the past three weekends.
CSUN’s Eric Vance pounded a match-high 20 kills as the third-ranked Matadors wrapped up the regular season with a 30-23, 30-21, 30-28 win at No. 13 UC Santa Barbara on Friday at the Thunderdome.
BYU holds a 25-17 lead in the series between these two teams dating back to April. 11, 1990. CSUN swept the Cougars in back-to-back matches earlier this season, while BYU recorded a perfect 3-0 record against the Matadors in 2008, winning back-to-back matches at home in the Smith Fieldhouse during the regular season and also posting a 3-0 sweep over CSUN in the semifinal match at the MSPF Championships in Long Beach. The Matadors and Cougars have met in the MPSF Tournament three times since 2003 with BYU winning each time. Between 1997-2003 the Cougars recorded a series-leading 12-match win streak over the Matadors, including nine sweeps.
Live stats can be accessed by visiting CSUN’s men’s volleyball schedule page at www.GoMatadors.com. The live stats can be launched by clicking on the “Live Stats” link for the appropriate game on the schedule page.
Coming Off...Road Win Over No. 2 Pepperdine
Despite losing the first set, the No. 6 BYU men’s volleyball team came back to claim a 3-1 road win (22-30, 30-21, 30-27, 30-26) over No. 2 Pepperdine as the regular season came to an end Friday night. Friday’s win marks the first for BYU at Pepperdine since the 2003 season, providing momentum as the Cougars prepare for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Men’s Volleyball Tournament next week.
With the win BYU secures a series split with Pepperdine and concludes the regular season with a 17-12, 13-9 MPSF record. The Cougars have recorded series splits with the nation’s first-, second- and fifth-ranked teams in each of the past three weekends. Junior opposite Kent Tuttle led BYU with 22 kills on the night, while junior middle blocker Andrew Stewart racked up 18 kills with an impressive .500 hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman Futi Tavana also recorded double-digit kills with 11. He added a team-high six blocks.
BYU in the MPSF Tournament
Since 1993, BYU has qualified for the MPSF postseason tournament in 13 of 14 seasons including 12 consecutive trips. The Cougars all-time record in the MPSF tournament is 19-12. BYU has won the MPSF tournament three times and holds an 11-5 record in the first round, 5-5 record in the semifinals and 3-2 record in tournament finals. The Cougars won consecutive MPSF tournament championships in 2003 and 2004.
BYU Hosts 2009 NCAA Championship
BYU will host the 2009 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship in the Smith Fieldhouse May 7-9, 2009. Both semifinal matches will be played on Thursday, May 7, with the national championship match held on Saturday, May 9. All session tickets are available at the Marriott Center Ticket Office. The ticket office may be reached at (801) 422-BYU1 or toll-free at (800) 322-BYU1. Tickets may also be purchased at byutickets.com.
BYU will host its first national championship event since hosting the 1989 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Three other outdoor track championships were held at BYU in 1967, 1975 and 1982. BYU also hosted the NCAA Wrestling Championship in 1969.
With a win on Saturday the Cougars advance to the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament in Irvine, Calif.