Season Ends in Five-Game Loss to Gauchos

Ivan Perez registered 24 kills and six blocks in BYU's 3-2 loss to UCSB in the quarterfinals of the MPSF tournament. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The Cougars came up short in their bid to return to the NCAA Final Four, losing 3-2 (25-30, 21-30, 31-29, 30-23, 13-15) to UC Santa Barbara Saturday night in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament quarterfinals at the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU lost despite coming back from a 2-0 deficit and finished the season with a 20-10 overall record and a third place finish in the MPSF at 15-7. The Gauchos advanced to the MPSF semifinals and improved to 16-13 overall.

"I'm proud of how the guys came back like they did," BYU coach Tom Peterson said. "They showed a lot of character when they were down. It makes it harder to lose after coming back like that."

After falling behind 2-0 and trailing throughout the third, the Cougars fought back to force a fifth. The score remained close throughout before UCSB took the lead at 13-11. BYU tied the score at 13 on a kill by Ivan Perez and a block by Russell Holmes and Rob Neilson, forcing a Gaucho timeout. The comeback would fall short, however, as Casey Patterson served the ball into the net and UCSB blocked Perez to seal the win for the Gauchos.

"Give them credit for being ready to play in the Smith Fieldhouse," Peterson said. "They made the plays when it counted."

Perez was one shy of tying his career high in kills with 24 but did set a career mark with six blocks. Patterson had 17 kills and Victor Batista added 10. Neilson tied a career high with 68 assists and Brian Rowley had 12 digs. Bryan Stewart and Holmes made big contributions off the bench. Stewart replaced Taylor Evans in the second and played part of the third, recording a career-high six kills. Holmes had three kills and five blocks after replacing Michael Burke, who went down with an injured shoulder in the second. As a team, BYU hit .265 (77-36-155) and had 14.0 team blocks.

Adam Ulfers recorded 19 kills to lead UCSB while Patak, who leads the nation in kills per game, had 18 while hitting just .175 (18-11-40). Middles Theo Brunner and Michael Kennedy also had double-digit kill totals with 12 and 10, respectively. Kennedy also tallied a match-best 11 blocks.

UCSB scored the first point of game one on a kill by Ulfers and never trailed, winning the opening frame 30-25. After falling behind 9-7, the Cougars trailed by at least two and as many as six at 20-26 and 23-29. Patterson had five kills to lead BYU and Rowley added eight digs. Patak had six kills to lead a Gaucho attack that hit .406 (15-2-32).

The Cougars kept the second close up to 18-19 before UCSB took control, outscoring the Cougars 11-3 to end the game with the 30-21 win. The Gaucho rally started just a few points after BYU lost Burke. Perez registered seven kills for the Cougars but it was not enough as UCSB hit .500 (13-2-22) and had 4.0 team blocks.

BYU refused to go out in a sweep, fighting back from several Gaucho leads and two match points to win game three 31-29. UCSB cruised through the first part of the game, taking a four point lead at 14-10. The Cougars fought back to tie the score at 17. That comeback would not be BYU's last as the Gauchos jumped back ahead by four at 23-19. The Cougars fought back and closed the gap to one but let UCSB take the lead at 29-27. Evans, who returned to the lineup only plays earlier, saved the first Gaucho match point with a kill. A service error stopped UCSB from clinching and Evans followed that with an ace to give BYU the lead at 30-29. On the next play, Perez and Batista stuffed a Gaucho attack to keep the Cougars alive. Patterson had six kills and Stewart and Perez added five each. Perez also added five blocks.

An enthusiastic crowd helped push a re-energized BYU team to a 30-23 win in the fourth, tying the match at two games apiece. The win did not come without drama as the Gauchos led 22-20. Perez registered a kill putting the ball into the hands of Batista, who served six straight points, including two aces. UCSB scored one more point but could not stop the Cougar attack as Perez ended the game with a kill. The Cougars hit .400 (18-6-30) for the game and Perez had six kills and Patterson five.

"I told the team that I'm proud of them," Peterson said. "They're a great team and great people. We got better throughout the season and I give a lot of credit to the players for working hard, especially the seniors. They provided a lot of leadership for this group."

BYU will return all but three of their players in 2006. Burke, Patterson and Brian Congelliere have completed their eligibility.

Volleyball Box Score

Brigham Young University - Volleyball

UC Santa Barbara vs Brigham Young (Apr 23, 2005 at PROVO, UT)

UC Santa Barbara | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

1 Kowalski, Bart...... 5| 3 0 5 .600| 60| 2 4| 0| 8| 0 3 1| 1| 6.5

4 Berman, Bryan....... 5| 6 5 17 .059| 2| 0 2| 0| 5| 0 2 2| 0| 7.0

7 Patak, Evan......... 5| 18 11 40 .175| 0| 2 4| 0| 3| 1 3 0| 0| 22.5

10 Ulfers, Adam........ 5| 19 3 29 .552| 0| 0 2| 2| 4| 0 5 0| 0| 21.5

21 Brunner, Theo....... 5| 12 0 20 .600| 0| 0 0| 0| 3| 1 3 1| 0| 14.5

25 Kennedy, Michael.... 5| 10 3 20 .350| 1| 0 0| 0| 3| 2 9 0| 0| 16.5

5 Nelson, Mike........ 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

11 Godinez, Jared...... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

13 Wack, Nate.......... 2| 0 1 3 -.333| 0| 0 1| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

15 Wilson, Drew........ 4| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 1| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

19 Mansfield, Aaron.... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 2| 7| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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

Totals.............. 5| 68 23 134 .336| 65| 4 13| 5| 36| 4 25 4| 1| 88.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 16.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 15 2 32 .406 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 TEAM RECORDS

2 13 2 22 .500 UC Santa Barbara.... (3) 30 30 29 23 15 16-13, 13-9 MPSF

3 17 8 34 .265 Brigham Young....... (2) 25 21 31 30 13 20-10, 15-7 MPSF

4 13 6 28 .250

5 10 5 18 .278

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...... 2| 6 1 7 .714| 0| 0 2| 0| 0| 0 2 1| 0| 7.0

8 PEREZ, Ivan......... 5| 24 8 45 .356| 0| 0 2| 1| 5| 0 6 1| 0| 27.0

9 PATTERSON, Casey.... 5| 17 6 29 .379| 2| 1 4| 1| 4| 0 3 1| 0| 19.5

14 NEILSON, Rob........ 5| 2 0 5 .400| 68| 0 1| 0| 9| 0 5 0| 0| 4.5

15 BATISTA, Victor..... 5| 10 8 29 .069| 1| 2 6| 0| 4| 0 6 0| 0| 15.0

17 EVANS, Taylor....... 5| 9 9 25 .000| 2| 2 3| 2| 1| 0 1 0| 0| 11.5

2 STEWART, Bryan...... 3| 6 2 9 .444| 0| 0 1| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 6.0

6 HEYES, Matt......... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

7 ROWLEY, Brian....... 5| 0 1 1-1.000| 0| 0 0| 0| 12| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

11 HOLMES, Russell..... 5| 3 1 5 .400| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 5 1| 0| 5.5

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

Totals.............. 5| 77 36 155 .265| 73| 5 19| 4| 37| 0 28 4| 0| 96.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 14.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 17 10 37 .189 Site: PROVO, UT (SMITH FIELD HOUSE)

2 15 8 33 .212 Date: Apr 23, 2005 Attend: 1396 Time: 2H 15M

3 20 8 40 .300 Referees: BURT FULLER, JILL MALTA, MA,MC,SB,MM,DM

4 18 6 30 .400

5 7 4 15 .200

1 2 3 4 5 Total

Tie scores 0 5 6 6 4 21

Lead changes 0 1 5 2 1 9

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Tags: Results