Brigham Young University
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Kyle Chilton | Posted: 10 Apr 2005 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Kyle Chilton

Seniors Honored in Sweep of UCSD


PROVO, Utah (April, 9, 2005) -- In the final home match of the regular season, the BYU Cougars notched their second straight sweep of the UC San Diego Tritons Saturday, 30-18, 30-25, 30-26, and honored the three seniors on the squad, Michael Burke, Rob Congelliere, and Casey Patterson.

BYU coach Tom Peterson praised his seniors after the match.

"Rob has more to do with our program than most people realize," Peterson said. "He is a great representative for the school and the team. He has been a very good influence on the rest of the players."

In the first start of his career, Congelliere recorded five kills, five digs and four blocks.

"Casey is a big part of our team. When he's good, we have a chance to win the championship."

Patterson had a team-high nine kills and added five digs and two assists.

"What can you say about Mike Burke," Peterson said. "He is one of the main reasons we have been so successful the three years I've been here. He is one of the most dominant players in the country."

Burke controlled the middle with five kills and a match-high seven blocks.

Victor Batista had nine kills, hit .667 (9-1-12), recorded two aces and three blocks to lead the Cougars. Rob Neilson had 37 assists and set BYU to a .352 (46-15-88) hitting percentage. The Cougars had 12.0 kills and 23 digs to control the Triton offense.

Garret Smith had eight kills for a UCSD team high and Adam Rusch added seven. The Tritons hit 0.60 (29-24-84) for the match.

After a close opening half of game one, BYU scored 15 of the last 21 points to win 30-18. UCSD led the first 17 points before the Cougars put together a four point run to take the lead for good. Patterson started the run with a kill and Neilson added a block, Batista a kill and Burke an ace to go ahead 11-9. The Tritons held strong, keeping within three at 15-12 before BYU closed the game with its 15-6 run, which included four blocks. Batista, Patterson and Congelliere each contributed three kills while the team finished with 6.5 blocks, led by four from Neilson. The Cougars hit .500 (14-3-22) compared to -.033 (9-10-30) for UCSD.

The second game followed the same pattern as the first, a slow start before a strong finish. The Tritons led 10-8 and 11-10 before the BYU jumped ahead on a 5-1 run that included two kills and an ace from Batista. The Cougars, leading at 15-12 at that point, would never let the Tritons come any closer, extending their lead to as many as seven at 26-19 and eventually winning, 30-25. Batista spearheaded the BYU attack, tallying five kills and two aces while Rusch had four on six attempts to lead UCSD.

After taking the lead at 7-6 on a Taylor Evans kill, the Cougars held the advantage the rest of the way. BYU looked as if it would blow the Tritons away, leading 29-21 before UCSD scored five consecutive points to make it interesting. The Cougars managed to close the game and the match behind a kill by Ivan Perez.

Peterson said he enjoyed the match because he was able to change the lineup and insert different players.

"It was great that we mixed things up," Peterson said. "I want to congratulate the guys for maintaining their intensity despite playing in different positions."

BYU, now 18-9 overall and 13-7 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation will conclude its regular season with two matches next weekend (April 15 and 16) against the Stanford Cardinal.


Kyle Chilton | Posted: 5 Apr 2005 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Kyle Chilton

Final Home Matches for Seniors


PROVO -- BYU's three seniors will play in the final regular-season home matches of their careers as the Cougars play the Tritons of UC San Diego Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Michael Burke, Rob Congelliere and Casey Patterson are BYU's three departing seniors.

"They have all made big contributions to the program, on and off the court," BYU coach Tom Peterson said. "We hope a big crowd will come out and support them and the rest of the team in the final home matches of the season. It will be the last time fans will get to see us as the defending 2004 National Champions."

The seniors will be honored following the conclusion of Saturday's match.

The Cougars are coming off a split with Cal State Northridge and now own a 16-9 overall record and are 11-7 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. These matches with UCSD are pivotal in BYU's ranking in the MPSF and eventual seeding in the league tournament. The Cougars are currently tied with Long Beach State (11-7) for fifth while Hawai'i and UC Santa Barbara (12-6) are tied for third. Pepperdine (17-2) is first and UCLA (16-3) is second.

"The rest of our matches are for seeding in the MPSF tournament," Peterson said. "It's not in our own hands, but the teams ahead of us are playing each other. We could end up with a decent seed, but we have to win these matches."

The Tritons are coached by Ron Larsen, one of three BYU graduates, along with Mike Wilton of Hawai'i and BYU's Peterson, that coach in the MPSF. He played for the Cougars' club volleyball team in the early 1970s.

The 2005 season has been difficult for UCSD, with records of 2-20 overall and 1-17 in the MPSF. The Tritons have played much better in recent weeks however, defeating Cal Baptist, 3-2 (March 9) and USC, 3-1 (March 30) and taking Long Beach State to five games (March 11). The victory over USC was UCSD's first league win of the year. The Tritons followed that match with a 3-0 loss to Pepperdine.

"Even though their record isn't very impressive, every team in our league is good," Peterson said. "They'd been beat up but they're healthy now. We have to take care of business with them."

Luke Honnette has developed into UCSD's go-to player, averaging 4.13 kills per game on the season. He is also one of the top defensive players on the squad, registering 1.30 digs per game. Adam Toren, who is second on the team in kills per game at 2.95, leads the Tritons in aces at 0.31 per game and 17 on the season. Last season against BYU, Toren played one of the best matches of his career, registering 20 kills while hitting .667 (20-2-27). Adam Rusch is third on the squad with a 2.08 kills-per-game average and is the owner of a .328 hitting percentage and a 0.99 blocks-per-game average, both team highs.

BYU will be looking to recover from Saturday night's match, in which the Cougars hit just .170 (42-26-94) and were swept by Cal State Northridge. The night before, BYU gutted out a 3-1 win over the Matadors. Victor Batista had the hot hand that night, pounding out 19 kills and hitting .680 (19-2-25).

Michael Burke continues to lead the Cougars with a .457 (231-44-409) hitting percentage and a 1.32 blocks-per-game average. Following his impressive play in the month of March, Ivan Perez is leading the team in kills at 3.70 per game, is second in digs at 1.45 and in hitting percentage for players with over 200 attempts at .326 (311-117-596).

After this weekend's matches against UCSD, BYU will conclude its regular season on the road against Stanford. The Cougars and the Cardinal will play two matches, Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16.

Friday and Saturday's match will be broadcast on BYU Radio. To listen, visit or click here. To follow the matches online, visit or click here.