No. 1 BYU Still Perfect with Sweep of No. 2 UCI

Ivan Perez recorded nine kills against UC Irvine Friday night. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- In automobile terms, the BYU men's volleyball team's status as the nation's No. 1 squad is so new it still has the new car smell. Maybe that's why the team appeared to be in no rush to give it up, avenging last season's loss to No. 2 UC Irvine (10-2, 5-2) in a three-set sweep, 30-21, 30-22 and 30-27 Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse. With the victory, BYU improves to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in MPSF play.

The win set the tone for the weekend series between the two clubs who will face each other again Saturday night. Last season, the Cougars took a No. 1 ranking into the Anteaters' home and were swept 2-0 in a weekend series. This year, the match-up got off to a decidedly different outcome behind Yosleyder Cala, Ivan Perez and Robby Stowell, who combined for 27 of BYU's 38 kills. The trio each had nine kills in front of a crowd of 5,753, the largest of the season and ninth largest in Smith Fieldhouse history. Junior Russell Holmes recorded a game-high six total blocks.

"Ivan was very efficient for us tonight," said BYU co-head coach Shawn Patchell. "He hit .500 and had nine kills. He is a big emotional boost to our team."

Freshman Rodnei Santos got the Cougars going in set one both defensively and offensively. The middle blocker recorded four blocks and two kills for BYU, which took its first lead of the game on a Santos block that put his team ahead 3-2. The Cougars never trailed from there, leading by as many as 10 points on its way to the 30-21 win. Twice Santos sent kills crashing down the middle, inciting the crowd to a deafening eruption. UCI's nine serving errors also played a significant role in helping to build BYU's momentum in the first set. Additionally, BYU recorded 10 total blocks compared to UCI's two.

"Throughout the night our middles were huge," said Patchell. "Both Rodnei and Russell blocked well and hit well for us."

The Anteaters kept their composure and stepped up their game in set two, building an early 9-5 advantage over the Cougars. BYU responded to the pressure by putting together an 8-3 run of its own to take a 13-12 lead. The teams continued to battle, matching each other point-for-point, until they found themselves knotted at 17. BYU scored the next five in a row and, just as it did in set one, never looked back en route to a 30-22 victory. UCI repeated its previous mistakes by committing seven serving errors in the set. It was Anteater freshman Cole Reinholm who served it long to give the Cougars the set-winning point.

Set three displayed a little bit of deja vu, as UCI stormed out to another 9-5 lead, proving it would not go away easily. Once again, BYU responded with a run -- this time a 5-1 run that evened the score at 10-all. From that point, neither team led by more than two points until UCI returned the ball out of bounds, giving the Cougars a 28-25 margin. The set saw five ties during that span. Holmes made the set and match-winning block, keeping BYU's undefeated season alive.

David Smith and Aaron Harrell led UCI with eight kills apiece. Reigning National Player of the Year Jason Jablonsky recorded six kills and two blocks for the Anteaters.

BYU faces UC Irvine for the final match of its weekend series Sat., Feb. 3, at the Smith Fieldhouse. Game time is set for 7 p.m. MST.

Volleyball Box Score

The Automated ScoreBook

#2 UCI vs #1 Brigham Young Univ. (Feb 02, 2007 at Smith Fieldhouse BYU)

UCI | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

## Name GP| K E TA PCT| A| SA SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2 Wilson, Taylor...... 3| 2 5 11 -.273| 1| 0 2| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0

7 Thornton, Brian..... 3| 1 0 2 .500| 34| 0 2| 0| 2| 0 1 0| 0

11 Jablonsky, Jayson... 3| 6 6 16 .000| 1| 1 3| 0| 3| 0 2 0| 0

13 Webber, Matt........ 3| 7 7 20 .000| 0| 0 3| 1| 10| 0 1 0| 0

15 Smith, David........ 3| 8 2 14 .429| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 1 3 1| 0

21 Harrell, Aaron...... 3| 8 2 14 .429| 1| 0 3| 0| 1| 0 1 0| 0

1 Steller, Jon........ 3| 5 2 10 .300| 0| 0 3| 0| 1| 0 1 0| 0

3 Ammerman, Ryan...... 1| 0 1 2 -.500| 1| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

5 Reinholm, Cole...... 2| 4 2 7 .286| 0| 1 3| 2| 1| 0 0 0| 0

6 Spittle, Nick....... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

8 Asuka, Brent........ 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 1| 0| 0 0 0| 0

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Totals.............. 3| 41 27 96 .146| 38| 2 20| 4| 19| 1 9 1| 0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 5.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 13 13 35 .000 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 12 9 28 .107 UCI................. (0) 21 22 27 10-2, 5-2

3 16 5 33 .333 Brigham Young Univ.. (3) 30 30 30 9-0, 5-0

Brigham Young Univ. | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

## Name GP| K E TA PCT| A| SA SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 CALA, Yosleyder..... 3| 9 4 20 .250| 1| 0 2| 2| 4| 0 1 0| 0

2 SANTOS, Rodnei...... 3| 6 0 7 .857| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 1 4 0| 0

8 PEREZ, Ivan......... 3| 9 2 14 .500| 0| 0 4| 0| 4| 0 3 1| 0

11 HOLMES, Russell..... 3| 5 2 12 .250| 1| 2 3| 0| 1| 1 5 1| 0

13 STOWELL, Robby...... 3| 9 3 18 .333| 0| 0 2| 0| 5| 0 1 0| 0

14 PEREZ, Yamil........ 3| 0 0 1 .000| 36| 2 3| 0| 3| 0 4 1| 0

5 COX, Scott.......... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

6 SILVA, Joel......... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 6| 0 0 0| 0

7 SORENSEN, Trent..... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Totals.............. 3| 38 11 72 .375| 38| 4 15| 2| 23| 2 18 3| 0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 11.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 8 2 17 .353 Site: Smith Fieldhouse BYU (Elaine Michaelis)

2 12 4 19 .421 Date: Feb 02, 2007 Attend: 5753 Time: 1h 40m

3 18 5 36 .361 Referees: Burt Fuller, Tom Given, Maetani

Tags: Results