Peterson Goes Head-to-Head with Previous Assistant

Head coach Tom Peterson will face one of his previous assistant coaches as the Cougars host the Penn State Nittany Lions Friday and Saturday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- BYU men's volleyball head coach Tom Peterson will have his first matchup against one of his previous assistant coaches this weekend as the third-ranked Cougars host No. 11 Penn State for the first time in 12 years. To round off the week, the Cougars (11-3, 11-3 MPSF) will also be hosting Concordia on Wednesday. Both Concordia and Penn State (12-3, 8-0 EIVA) are members of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.

With Penn State coming to Provo on Friday and Saturday, Peterson is feeling a little extra pressure. The Nittany Lions made four NCAA Tournament appearances and won their only national championship in 1994 with Peterson as their head coach.

"Penn State is a good team," Peterson said. "I don't want to lose these matches, especially since their head coach (Mark Pavlik) was my assistant coach when I was there."

Pavlik took over as head coach when Peterson left, and Friday's match will mark the first meeting between the two coaches. The teams have only competed twice since the Nittany Lions beat the Cougars in 1994 with Peterson at the helm, but BYU won both of those matches on neutral turf. Overall, the Cougars are behind in the series 2-4 since 1990.

With Concordia, the Cougars hold a 2-0 lead in the series, having won a 3-0 contest last March in Provo.

"Concordia usually has some foreign players that have good experience, so they should be a pretty good team," BYU head coach Tom Peterson said. "And it will be nice to get back into the Smith Fieldhouse to play this week."

The Cougars played their previous two matches on the road at USC and came away with back-to-back 3-0 wins over the Trojans. Penn State is currently on a 7-0 road winning streak and holds a perfect 8-0 record in the EIVA Tait conference.

Wednesday's match against Concordia and Friday's match against Penn State will both be held at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. Saturday's match against Penn State will be held at 9 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.