(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
After splitting a pair of matches at then-No. 5 Stanford, the No. 6 BYU men’s volleyball team (16-11, 12-8 MPSF) goes to No. 2 Pepperdine (19-3, 17-3 MPSF) for two matches on Thursday and Friday nights. The visit marks the final two matches of the Cougars’ regular season.
The Cougars finished 1-1 against the the Cardinal last weekend, defeating it 3-2 on Friday before suffering a sweep on Saturday. With the loss Stanford now stands alone at No. 4 in the MPSF standings, while BYU is tied with USC at No. 5.
Pepperdine enters the weekend coming off a 3-0 loss at then-No. 2 UC Irvine, snapping a 10-match win streak.
The Waves lead the series against BYU, 22-15 and 14-5 in Malibu. Pepperdine won the first six matches in the series, dating back to 1990, before the Cougars picked up their first win in 1993. Five of the last nine meetings between these two teams have resulted in sweeps. The Cougars swept the regular-season series played last year in Provo, before falling to the Waves in five sets in the MPSF championship match.
The matches can be tracked and watched live online by visiting Pepperdine’s men’s volleyball schedule page at www.pepperdinesports.com. The video and stats can be launched by clicking on the respective links for the appropriate game on the schedule page.
Coming Off...Weekend Split With Stanford
BYU notched a five-set win (26-30, 33-31, 30-24, 26-30, 15-11) over the Cardinal Friday night, breaking the Stanford’s previous five-match win streak. The win also spoiled the Cardinal’s eight-match win streak against MPSF opponents as well as its 10-match undefeated record at Maples Pavilion, dating back to 2007. Team captain Andrew Stewart led the Cougars with 16 kills and 13 digs, marking his first double-double of the 2009 season and second of his career. Futi Tavana and Mat Taylor each contributed 13 kills apiece, with Russell Lavaja recording 10 blocks, both match- and career-highs. Tavana also recorded eight blocks, including a career-high three block solos.
Just one night later, BYU suffered a 3-0 sweep (30-24, 30-19, 30-19) courtesy of Stanford. With the loss the Cardinal now stands alone as the No. 4 team in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings with only one week in the regular season remaining. Middle blocker Futi Tavana led BYU with 15 kills, tying his previous career-high. The redshirt freshman was the lone Cougar with double-digit kills. As a team BYU was out-hit by only one kill (45-44) but the difference-maker was attack percentage, with Stanford leading .386 to .138.
The Cougars prepare for the first round of the MPSF Tournament on April 22.
Last Year Against Pepperdine
March 7, 2008
In a renewed rivalry between top Mountain Pacific Sports Federation elites, the No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team (15-1, 10-1) topped No. 5 Pepperdine (8-6, 8-6) in four sets (30-20, 30-25, 31-33, 30-26) at the Smith Fieldhouse to remain atop the MPSF standings.
For only the second time this season five Cougar hitters tallied 10 or more kills. Ivan Perez led the way with 19 kills and a .343 attack percentage. He was followed by Jonathan Charette with 16, Russell Holmes and Andrew Stewart with 13 apiece, and Trent Sorensen with 12. As a team BYU hit .379 and kept Pepperdine to .269. The Cougars have yet to allow an opponent to hit .300 against them this season.
March 8, 2008
For only the first time since the 1999 championship season, the No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team (16-1, 11-1) swept No. 5 Pepperdine (8-7, 8-7) in three sets (30-28, 30-23, 30-26) and completed a weekend sweep of the Waves for the first time since the 2004 championship season.
As is per usual with the current Cougar squad, the seniors led the charge against Pepperdine. Ivan Perez had 13 kills and five blocks to lead the Cougars, and Jonathan Charette followed with 11 kills of his own. Russell Holmes tallied nine kills and five blocks, and Trent Sorensen had eight kills and three blocks. As a team, BYU hit .348 with sophomore Reed Chilton at setter and recorded nine total team blocks.
April 26, 2008
The BYU men’s volleyball team (25-5) fell to Pepperdine (16-10) in a 2-3 loss (30-28, 30-28, 30-32, 27-30, 8-15) in the championship match of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.
The fifth-set loss is the first the team has suffered this season after going 5-0 in the fifth set during the regular season. The Cougars fall to 18-12 all-time in MPSF Tournament play and 3-2 in Tournament Championship matches.
Senior All-MPSF First Team honorees Ivan Perez and Jonathan Charette were named to the All-Tournament team. Perez tallied his team-leading 10th double-double of the season with 20 kills and 12 digs. Charette also had 20 kills, and senior Russell Holmes had 13 kills and five blocks on the night.