All-American Russell Holmes and his fellow seniors will play their last regular-season home matches at the Smith Fieldhouse this Friday and Saturday against No. 10 USC. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Five seniors will play their last regular-season matches at the Smith Fielhouse this Friday and Saturday as the No. 2 BYU men's volleyball team (21-4, 16-4) hosts No. 10 USC (13-13, 10-10) as the Cougars battle for home-court rights in the upcoming Mountain Pacific Sports Federation playoffs.
BYU currently has five seniors on the roster, all of whom start and are significant contributors: Jonathan Charette at opposite, Brian Congelliere at setter (shares time with sophomores Reed Chilton and Yamil Perez), Russell Holmes at middle blocker, Ivan Perez at outside hitter, and Trent Sorensen also at the middle blocker position.
The Cougars are currently tied for first place in the MPSF with Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge. LBS holds the tiebreaker over BYU, but BYU owns the tiebreaker over CSUN. CSUN has beaten LBS once this season, and the two schools will face off in Northridge, Calif. Saturday night in the teams' last match of the regular season.
The Cougars have beaten the Trojans in the last 12 meetings between the two schools. The last time USC topped BYU was in February of 2001 on the Trojans' home floor. Overall, the Cougars lead the series 22-7 and 11-4 in Provo. The last time BYU lost to USC at home was in January of 1996. Seven wins of the current 12-win streak have been sweeps while only two matches have gone to five sets.
The No. 10-ranked USC men's volleyball team is riding a season-high 3-match winning streak while capturing 4 of its last 5 matches and already qualifying for the MPSF tournament. USC's most decorated player is high-leaping 6-0 senior Juan Figueroa, who starts for his fourth season on the outside. Last year, he was Troy's first All-American of any sort since 2001 when he earned 2007 All-American second team and All-MPSF third team honors. He leads the team with 408 kills and a .293 attack percentage.
Friday's match can be seen live via BYU's All-Access system located at http://www.byucougars.com/. Saturday's match will be broadcast live on BYUTV. For more information, please see the attached PDF document.