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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2007)--In a battle of top-ranked teams, the NAIA prevailed over the NCAA as Cal-Baptist swept No. 1 BYU, 30-25, 30-23 and 31-29. The loss was the second consecutive for the Cougars (9-2, 5-1 MPSF).
For the second consecutive match--both losses--BYU had a sub-.300 hitting day as the Lancers (10-5) outhit the Cougars, .273 to .239. Scott Cox led the way for BYU, knocking down a career-high 19 kills. Cox also led the Cougars in hitting percentage (.364) and tied for the team lead in total blocks (three) and service aces (one).
With two Cougars making their first respective starts of the season, BYU struggled in the first set. BYU hit .259 while allowing Cal- Baptist to hit at a .294 mark. The two teams battled evenly until the Lancers scored three consecutive points to grab a 10-7 lead. CBU kept the pressure on, going on a 6-3 run to put the Lancers up by six at 16-10. CBU's lead would not falter, as the Cougars didn't get much closer, ultimately losing the first set, 30-25.
In game two, Cal-Baptist once again jumped to an early lead. Holding to an 8-7 lead, the Lancers reeled off three consecutive points to jump ahead, 11-7 lead, forcing a BYU timeout. Coming out of the timeout, CBU added three more points to take a seven-point advantage before the scoring run was broken by a service error. The Cougars came back with four consecutive points of their own, cutting the lead to 14-11 on an Andrew Stewart ace. The Lancers came back with another 4-0 run to take an insurmountable 28-20 lead in the second game.
BYU jumped out to an early six-point advantage in the third set with Cox nailing down a kill and Yamil Perez serving up an ace to go ahead 11-5. Cal-Baptist responded with a 7-3 run of its own to cut the Cougars' lead to 14-12 and forcing a BYU timeout. Out of the timeout the Cougars scored consecutive points on kills by Yosleyder Cala and Stewart to re-gain a four-point advantage.
With BYU ahead 21-16, the Lancers scored five unanswered points to tie the third set. CBU took a 23-22 lead with an ace by Shamsu Awudu before the Lancers took a 26-24 advantage on a pair of errors. BYU fought back to tie the set at 26 on kills by Cox and Cala before re- gaining a 27-26 lead on a block by Perez and Rodnei Santos. Behind 29-28, Cal-Baptist finished the game--and match--by scoring three consecutive points.
The Cougars return to action Thursday when they travel to No. 2 Pepperdine for a pair of weekend matches.