PROVO, Utah (Mar. 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.
"We played with heart tonight," BYU head coach Shawn Patchell said after the match. "We had timely serving, and we found a way to winů This is a tough stretch on our schedule. Having these two wins against Pepperdine is huge for us heading into Pauley Pavilion to face UCLA next week."
Pepperdine learned from the defensive clinic BYU put on in Friday night's contest and recorded eight total team blocks in the first set, only one shy of the nine it compiled as a team in four sets Friday. Despite the increased defensive intensity, the Cougars were able to come from six points behind and win the set 30-28 on a block from Holmes and sophomore Andrew Stewart.
The Waves could not sustain that level of defensive intensity in the second set. The Cougars increased their attack percentage in the second set to .560 from .243 in the first. BYU gained its own six-point lead in the set and never looked back, rolling to a 30-23 victory thanks in part to Charette's six kills on seven swings and no errors.
The third set began as another close battle. The Cougars held an early 7-4 lead, but the Waves regained the advantage midway through the set. Down 23-24, BYU scored six points in a row including four points off of blocks. The blue and white completed the sweep with a 30-26 win on Holmes' ninth kill of the match.
On an injury note, senior setter Brian Congelliere was not suited up for Saturday's match due to an ankle injury suffered in Friday's contest. However, team trainers said Congelliere's ankle sprain is only minor and could possibly play at UCLA next week.
The Cougars will leave for Los Angeles Wednesday for back-to-back matches at UCLA Thursday and Friday with start times set for 7 p.m. PT both evenings. The following week BYU will be at Long Beach State for two weekend matches before returning to Provo for matches against UC Santa Barbara March 28-29.