Weekend Clash with Pacific
PROVO -- After a successful road trip that moved the team up three rankings, the No. 4 BYU men's volleyball team (5-3, 3-1) returns home to face No. 12 Pacific (3-7, 2-2) in a conference match-up, starting at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"Pacific is a good team," head coach Tom Peterson said. "We can't afford to think about last week's matches because we have to win these at home. We have seen what we can do on the road, and hopefully all of the guys are ready to contribute at any give moment."
The match up with Pacific will be the 16th meeting between the two teams, as BYU leads the series 11-4 overall, including 7-0 in Provo. Last season, the Cougars split 1-1 while playing at Pacific, taking both matches to five games. After the loss to the Tigers in 2003, BYU went on a six-match winning streak, the longest of the season.
Lasting almost three hours, BYU and LBSU battled through Friday's match until the end. Winning the first two games, the Cougars had the advantage going into the third game after finishing the second at 39-37. But LBSU didn't give up too easily, coming back from a 2-0 deficit and taking the match to five games.
Leading the BYU squad was senior Fernando Pessoa, breaking his career-high with 22 kills. Senior Jonathan Alleman posted another double-double performance with his highest kills for the season and 11 digs. Newcomer Victor Batista came up big for the Cougars again in the middle, tying his career-best 18 kills in 36 attempts and adding eight blocks.
With five players in double-digit kills during Wednesday's match, BYU outlasted the 49er lead on Wednesday with a power-charged comeback from a 2-0 deficit led by Pessoa at 20 kills and Batista at 18 kills.
Batista's performance marked a career-high in hitting percentage, .588. Pessoa also recorded a match-high nine digs. As senior Chris Gorny's first game back from injury, he immediately contributed for the team, hitting 12 kills and a team-high .588 percentage from the middle.
AVCA Player of the Week Brian Zodrow led all attackers in the loss to CS Northridge last week with a career-high 24 kills, while junior Mauricio Brizuela finished with 11 kills and junior Nils Dauburs had 10 kills for Pacific.
The Cougars continue its home stand in two weeks against Stanford, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Saturday's match will be broadcast on College Sports Television.