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STOCKTON, Calif. (April 13, 2007)--BYU wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming MPSF as the No. 2 Cougars picked up a 30-24, 30-26, 30-24 sweep over No. 14 Pacific.
BYU improves to 21-5 overall and 17-4 in the MPSF and secures the No. 2 seed because of a tiebreaker over third-place UC Irvine. The Tigers, who dropped to 14-16 overall and 8-13 in MPSF play, were eliminated from postseason play with the loss.
"We are proud to be the No. 2 seed," co-head coach Shawn Patchell said. "We've worked hard to achieve this and we are proud of what we accomplished."
Ivan Perez led the Cougars offensively with 10 kills on 16 swings while committing just two errors for a .438 hitting percentage. BYU dominated the blocking category as the Cougars out-blocked Pacific 15.0 to 9.0. Russell Holmes had a dominating blocking effort, picking up nine block assists and one block solo in just three sets.
"Russell and Trent (Sorensen) were dominant today," Patchell said. "They were our emotional leaders and had good matches. Ivan had a good offensive day for us."
The Tigers jumped to an early 3-1 lead in the first set as the Tigers recorded back-to-back blocks early on. It didn't take BYU long to assert itself as the Cougars went on a 12-4 run to get a commanding 13-7 lead. BYU's blocking came alive as the Cougars never trailed in the first set again. BYU opened up as large as an eight-point advantage and held on to take the first set on a Pekka Seppanen service error.
In the second set, the two teams battled back-and-forth early in the game. With the Tigers leading 11-7, BYU scored six consecutive points to take a 13-11 lead. Pacific battled back to tie the set at 15 but the Cougars jumped back ahead, going on a 7-3 lead to take a four-point advantage that held throughout the rest of the set. BYU took the game on a Joe Forbes service error.
The third set was another back-and-forth battle with neither team building more than a one-point lead in the early going. With the scored tied at 10, the Cougars reeled off four consecutive points, the final two coming off back-to-back Holmes blocks. BYU never looked back, as the Cougars build as much as a six-point advantage on its way to the sweep. BYU put the match away on a Sorensen kill.
The same two teams will wrap up regular season play Saturday night as the play at 7 p.m. (PDT)