Perez and Holmes Provide Spark in Five-Game Thriller

Ivan Perez had a career-night with 25 kills in BYU's thrilling five game win over the Long Beach State 49ers. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- In second rematch of the 2004 National Championship, the Cougars came out on top, defeating Long Beach State in a five game thriller, 34-36, 30-22, 26-30, 30-23, 15-10, Saturday night in the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU now owns a one-match lead over the 49ers in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation at 10-6 to 9-7.

"This is the type of match we would've expected with Long Beach," BYU coach Tom Peterson said. "It's a very important win."

The contest had the same feel as the 2004 championship match, opposite of Friday's sweep. The teams traded games before an intense fifth ensued. Long Beach started fast, leading 3-1 before the Cougars came back to lead at 7-5 on a Russell Holmes and Victor Batista block. The 49ers refused to go away, tying the game at seven and again at 10, before BYU ran away with the game and the match. Perez started a 5-0 run with a kill and added an ace two points later to put his team up 13-10. Batista added a kill before Michael Burke punctuated the win with a block that sent the Cougar bench and the fans into a frenzy.

Perez led BYU with a career and match-high 25 kills while hitting for a match-best .526 (25-5-38) percentage. He also added three service aces. Batista and Taylor Evans each added 12 kills to the cause. Batista also had a team and match-high eight blocks. Holmes, who had seen little action in the last few weeks, came off the bench to play middle and contributed four kills, four blocks and three digs. His presence was vital in the fifth, tallying two kills and a block in the deciding game.

"Russell has been getting better and better," Peterson said. "That lineup works very well as long as we pass. It adds a different dimension to what we can do."

Yassir Sliti's 19 kills led four Long Beach players in double-digit kills. Robert Tarr was next with 16 while Duncan Budinger had 14 and Teddy Liles 10.

The Cougars won the battle of percentages, hitting .333 (71-26-135) compared to .199 (67-38-146) for the 49ers. BYU also out-blocked Long Beach, 19.5 to 11.5.

Game one was a replay of Friday night, the Cougars fighting back from an early deficit to earn multiple game point chances but eventually losing, 34-36. Long Beach held the advantage throughout much of the game and was ahead 27-25 before BYU went on a 4-1 run that included two Perez kills and one by Evans. Despite game point opportunities at 29-28, 30-29, 31-30 and 33-32, the Cougars could not capitalize as the 49ers snuck away with the win on an Evans hitting error. Perez had seven kills and four digs in the game while Evans contributed four kills. Sliti led the Beach with six and Budinger and Tarr added five apiece.

BYU regrouped in the second, taking a three point lead at 10-7 thanks to a solid hitting game. The 49ers managed to tie the game at 13 but the Cougars quickly turned on the heat, capitalizing on several Long Beach errors and getting two blocks to score eight of the next nine points to jump out to a 21-14 lead. BYU continued to pour it on, extending the lead to 28-20 before winning 30-22 on a 49er hitting error. Perez and Batista had five kills each and Burke was nearly perfect, getting four kills on five swings.

A big win in the second did not help much in the third. The game remained close as there were 11 tie scores, the last coming at 17 all. At that point Long Beach took control, scoring the next three and eventually extending the lead to four at 27-23. From there the teams traded points and the match ended on a hitting error by Evans, 30-26. The Cougars struggled mightily on offense, hitting just .080 (11-9-25) while the 49ers hit .292 (13-6-24).

Needing a win to avoid another loss, BYU stepped up in the third, taking the early 11-6 lead and never looking back. Perez led the way with a perfect 7-of-7 performance, helping the Cougars hit .370 (14-4-27). BYU won the game 30-23 on a Long Beach service error.

The Cougars will now take the road back to California for two matches with Cal State Northridge next Friday and Saturday (April 1 and 2).

Volleyball Box Score

Brigham Young University - Volleyball

Long Beach State vs Brigham Young (Mar 26, 2005 at Provo, Ut)

Long Beach State | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

5 HILDEBRAND, Tyler... 5| 1 3 10 -.200| 58| 0 0| 0| 6| 1 1 0| 0| 2.5

8 HAGSTROM, Nathan.... 5| 7 6 16 .062| 0| 0 5| 1| 5| 1 2 1| 0| 9.0

13 LILES, Teddy........ 5| 10 3 20 .350| 1| 2 3| 0| 2| 1 3 0| 0| 14.5

14 SLITI, Yassir....... 5| 19 14 43 .116| 0| 0 6| 1| 5| 0 3 0| 0| 20.5

17 BUDINGER, Duncan.... 5| 14 3 25 .440| 1| 0 0| 0| 2| 0 3 2| 0| 15.5

24 TARR, Robert........ 5| 16 9 31 .226| 0| 0 4| 3| 8| 1 3 2| 0| 18.5

1 CALDWELL, Tyler..... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 1| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

9 HUTTON, Norm........ 1| 0 0 1 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

20 MUNOZ, Paul......... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 1| 2| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

22 CAPE, Kevin......... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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Totals.............. 5| 67 38 146 .199| 62| 2 18| 7| 31| 4 15 5| 0| 80.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 11.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 25 7 49 .367 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 TEAM RECORDS

2 8 8 24 .000 Long Beach State.... (2) 36 22 30 23 10 15-8, 9-7 MPSF

3 13 6 24 .292 Brigham Young....... (3) 34 30 26 30 15 15-8, 10-6MPSF

4 15 11 35 .114

5 6 6 14 .000

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

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

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

3 BURKE, Michael...... 5| 9 2 19 .368| 0| 0 3| 0| 0| 3 4 2| 0| 14.0

8 PEREZ, Ivan......... 5| 25 5 38 .526| 1| 3 3| 1| 5| 1 1 0| 0| 29.5

9 PATTERSON, Casey.... 3| 6 4 14 .143| 3| 1 3| 0| 2| 0 1 1| 0| 7.5

14 NEILSON, Rob........ 5| 3 2 6 .167| 61| 1 6| 0| 4| 2 3 1| 0| 7.5

15 BATISTA, Victor..... 5| 12 3 23 .391| 3| 1 5| 0| 4| 0 8 2| 0| 17.0

17 EVANS, Taylor....... 5| 12 9 30 .100| 2| 1 3| 0| 5| 1 4 0| 0| 16.0

2 STEWART, Bryan...... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

6 HEYES, Matt......... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 2| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

7 ROWLEY, Brian....... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 1| 7| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

11 HOLMES, Russell..... 5| 4 1 5 .600| 0| 0 0| 0| 3| 0 4 0| 0| 6.0

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

Totals.............. 5| 71 26 135 .333| 70| 7 25| 2| 30| 7 25 6| 0| 97.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 19.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 20 8 44 .273 Site: Provo, Ut (Smith Field house)

2 18 2 26 .615 Date: Mar 26, 2005 Attend: 2413 Time: 2H 30M

3 11 9 25 .080 Referees: LES CALLES, TOM GIVEN

4 14 4 27 .370

5 8 3 13 .385

1 2 3 4 5 Total

Tie scores 22 7 11 0 7 47

Lead changes 12 2 4 1 2 21

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Tags: Results