BYU Falls to Northridge in Four

BYU Falls to Northridge in Four

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. (Mar. 23, 2007)--No. 3 BYU was its own worst enemy as the Cougars committed 25 service errors and 36 hitting errors in a 30-27, 30-17, 21-30, 30-27 loss to No. 10 Cal-State Northridge.

With the loss BYU falls to 15-5 on the season and 11-4 in MPSF play. The loss also puts the Cougars two games behind second-place UC Irvine for second in conference play.

BYU hit just .186 as a team and were out-blocked 17.0 to 12.5. The middle play of Russell Holmes and Trent Sorensen was the bright spot for the Cougars. Holmes knocked down 13 kills while hitting .611 (13-2-18) while Sorensen added six kills on just seven swings while committing no errors (.857). Holmes also had a block solo and three block assists while knocking down a pair of service aces.

In the first set, the Cougars led early on, carrying building a six- point advantage on a Holmes kill to go ahead 16-10. Northridge came fighting back, going on a 10-3 run to take a 20-19 advantage on a service ace by Sean Pedersen. The two teams remained close, with the score knotted at 26. The set ended on another ace by Pedersen, a pair of service errors and an attack error by the Cougars.

In the second set, BYU raced to another early lead, jumping ahead, 5-2 on a Rodnei Santos kill. The Matadors countered with a 12-4 run to open a 14-9 run. After the two teams traded side outs, CSUN rolled off five consecutive points as the game turned lopsided. Northridge outscored BYU, 10-5 to end the set and give the Matadors a 2-0 advantage. BYU was held to a -.118 hitting percentage in the game while Northridge hit .368.

The Cougars began to look like themselves in the fourth set as they hit .600 and led most of the way. For the third consecutive game, BYU jumped to an early lead at 8-4. Unlike the first two, the Cougars widened their lead, rolling off four straight points to gain a 17-11 advantage. BYU further extended its lead to 20-12 on a combo block by Holmes and Yamil Perez. From that point, the teams traded side outs until the final point when Holmes smoked a service ace to give the Cougars the win.

The fourth game was tightly contested throughout with the Matadors consistently building two-point advantages only to have the Cougars erase those leads with mini-runs. With CSUN clinging to a 28-27 lead and serving, a questionable call gave the Matadors a 29-27 advantage and a match point. Isaac Kneubuhl knocked down Northridge's first match point to end BYU's six-match winning streak.

The same two teams face off again on Saturday night. First serve is set for 8 p.m. (MDT)

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