Cougars and Matadors to Face Off in Semis
The No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team (22-8, 15-7 MPSF) faces No. 3 Cal State Northridge (22-8, 15-7 MPSF) in the semifinals of the MPSF tournament Thursday at the Maples Pavilion on the campus of Stanford University. The match will begin at 5 p.m. PT.
BYU finished its regular-season schedule with a 1-1 split vs. CS Northridge and earned the No. 2 seed on sets over the Matadors, 5-3 in the series. BYU had the best team block (3.78 B/S) and overall defense during the season, holding opponents to .250 hitting. Futi Tavana (1.78 B/S) and Russell Lavaja (1.55 B/S) were the top blockers in the MPSF.
CSUN and BYU share identical records on the season, finishing the season tied for second. CSUN defeated USC 3-1 in the MPSF quarterfinals to advance to Palo Alto.
BYU holds a 26-20 lead in the series dating back to April 11, 1990. The Cougars hold a 16-8 record at home in the Smith Fieldhouse while the Matadors edge BYU 9-11 on their home court. On neutral courts the teams are 1-1. BYU has won eight of the last 11 matches—including five consecutive—but split with CSUN in Provo April 16-17. Of those eight wins, only two have gone to five sets. Between 1997-2003 the Cougars recorded a series-leading 12-match win streak over the Matadors, including nine sweeps.
Live stats are available at the BYU men’s volleyball schedule page at www.byucougars.com. Gametracker can be launched by clicking on the “Live Stats” link for the appropriate game on the schedule.
In front of 1,362 Cougar fans, the BYU men’s volleyball team won its first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament 3-1 against UCLA (30-28, 30-26, 26-30, 30-26). “It was a team effort for sure,” said BYU head coach Shawn Patchell. “We finally got some good angles on the ball and persevered. If we’re in system, we’re going to be good—we’re going to pass the ball well and Reed is going to distribute the ball well.” Leading the Cougars in consistent play was Kevin Sagers, hitting an impressive .682, tallying 17-of-22 kills with two errors, the hitting percentage a new career-high for the junior. Sophomore Robb Stowell led the Cougars in kills with 18, while senior Andrew Stewart had 16. Sagers and Reed Chilton led the team in digs with nine each while Chilton tallied 52 assists.