Warriors and Cougars Face Off in MPSF Semifinals

PROVO -- Second-seeded BYU continues its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament play this Thursday as it takes on third-seeded Hawaii in the semifinal round in Malibu, Calif. The winner of Thursday's match will continue to the MPSF championship round and most likely will earn a trip to the NCAA final four.

BYU (20-6) defeated seventh-seed Cal State Northridge 3-1 Saturday in the first round of the tournament in Provo, while Hawaii (24-5) hosted sixth-seed Pacific and garnered a 3-0 victory.

"We're in the position that we needed to be in," BYU head coach Tom Peterson said. "We're going to play a great team in the semifinals, and it will probably determine who goes to the final four. It's all we asked for and it's all we expected."

BYU and Hawaii have met in MPSF Tournament play four times since 1990, the latest of which Hawaii won 3-1 in 2001 for the MPSF Championship. BYU won the three previous MPSF tournament matches, and despite losing to Hawaii in 2001 went on to win the National Championship that year.

Earlier this season the teams split a pair of matches in Provo. On Feb. 20, Rafael Paal hit .607 and knocked down 20 kills to lead the Cougars to a 3-0 win over the Warriors in the Smith Fieldhouse. On Feb. 21 the teams squared off in the larger Marriott Center in front of 11,513 fans, when the Warriors overcame a 1-0 deficit in the match to win 3-1.

Thursday's match will begin at 7:30 (PST) in Malibu, Calif. College Sports Television will broadcast the match live; CSTV is broadcast through DirecTV's sports package on channel 610. KKEA am radio of Hawaii will also broadcast live audio of the match, which can be accessed through www.byucougars.com on the men's volleyball schedule page.

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