March 12, 2008
Ninth-ranked UCLA, winner of three straight matches, hosts No.1 BYU Thurs., Mar. 13 and Friday Mar. 14 in a pair of key MPSF matches at Pauley Pavilion. Both matches begin at 7 p.m.
A live audio broadcast will be offered on www.uclabruins.com with Darren Preston calling the action.
Both BYU matches also will be Club and High School Team Nights. Thursday will be Public Safety Night with all public safety personnel (police, fire, etc) allowed four free admissions with valid identification. For more information, call 310-206-3444.
Last week, BYU (16-1, 11-1), swept its conference season series at home against No. 5 Pepperdine. The Cougars won 3-1 on Mar. 7 and 3-0 on Mar. 8.
In Friday's match, five BYU starters registered double-digit kills, led by 19 from senior outside hitter Ivan Perez, who hit .343. Senior opposite Jonathan Charette added 16 (.333) and senior middle blocker Russell Holmes recorded 13 (.545) and eight block assists.
In Saturday's sweep, Perez and Charette combined for 24 kills, and the Cougars out-gunned the Waves 50-41 in kills and out-served them four aces to zero.
Perez and Holmes are both nationally ranked offensively. Holmes ranks seventh in hitting percentage (.465) and tied for first in blocking (1.68 bpg), and Perez ranks seventh in kills (4.59 kpg). This week, BYU ranks second (.324) to Penn State in team hitting percentage.
Last week, the Bruins (13-9, 8-6) won three matches, including a key, five-game road conference match on Mar. 7 at UC Irvine. Out-hit, out-served and out-blocked, the Bruins managed to force a fifth game and shut down the Anteaters' attack, limiting them to a Game 5 hitting percentage of .000, while converting 37% of their attempts.
A familiar strategy by Coach Al Scates enabled the Bruins to re-energize for Game 4, when he rested some of his key starters in a 30-19 loss.
"It [gave] them time to look at what the opponents [were] doing," said Scates. "It's something I've done my [entire] career."
In Game 5 the Bruins forced the Anteaters into six hitting errors, while committing just two, and UCI committed three service errors to UCLA's two.