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First Win of the Season Comes Against Pacific
SANTA BARBARA -- BYU’s No. 9-ranked men’s volleyball team swept Pacific 30-28, 30-18, 30-26 in its final match of the 45th Annual UC Santa Barbara/Elephant Bar Collegiate Invitational. With the win the Cougars secured an eighth-place finish in the tournament and improved to 1-2 on the season.
“It was good to play and compete and to win our last match in this tournament,” said BYU head coach Shawn Patchell. “We definitely had some rust after the five week break. This tournament was important to help us to get back to where we were a month ago.”
The Cougars pulled out a close 30-28 win in the first set after a kill by Tuttle. Pacific came back and scored the first point of the second set, before BYU went on a 7-1 run. Up 27-18, the Cougars scored three consecutive points, including game point on a service ace.
Anxious to win its first match of the season, BYU came out strong in the final set. Kills by Stewart and Taylor gave the Cougars a 12-7 advantage, but the Tigers managed to score five-straight points to come within one. The tandem of Stewart and Taylor continued to dominate offensively, as a kill by Taylor for match point clinched BYU’s first win of the season.
“We have to play with less unforced errors, we had too many this weekend,” said Patchell. “This experience will help us play better when it counts and we start playing MPSF teams.”
Up next the Cougars hold their home opener against Cal Baptist on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. MT in the Smith Fieldhouse. The team will also host Lewis University on Jan. 17.
Matchup With Stanford Awaits at E-Bar Invite
PROVO -- The BYU men’s volleyball team kicks off the 2009 season when it travels to the 45th Annual Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational hosted by UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 9-10. The third-seeded Cougars will face off against Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe Stanford, the sixth seed, in the first round on Friday at 1 p.m. PT.
Other teams competing in the Invitational are Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, Pacific, UC Irvine, and UCLA. The tournament will give teams and fans a good look at some of the top teams in the MPSF and the country.
Seven of the eight participating teams are ranked in the top-15 nationally, while six of those are found in the top-10. The AVCA preseason national rankings, which were released Dec. 30, ranked UCLA No. 2, Long Beach State No. 4, Cal State Northridge No. 5, UC Irvine No. 6, Stanford No. 8, BYU No. 9, and UCSB No. 14.
The Cougars are opening the season after winning the BYU Tournament and defeating several teams during the fall including UC Irvine, Hawaii and USC. In 2008 BYU and Stanford split a pair of matches played in Provo as the Cardinal handed the Cougars only their second home loss in the last two years and their first loss of the season.
Fans that purchase tickets in advance will receive discounted rates for All Session Passes - $12 for adults, $9 for seniors (55 and over), and $6 for youths (ages 4 to 13). If not purchased in advance, prices for All Session passes are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $8 for youths. Single day passes are also available for $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for youths.
Tickets can be purchased several ways - online through Ticket Return, by calling the Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB, or by stopping by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics building on UCSB’s campus. Additionally, the box offices at the Events Center and Robertson Gymnasium will open one hour prior to the first match each day (noon and 6 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. on Saturday) for walk-up sales.
For more information on tickets, parking, match schedules, and participating teams, please visit the tournament Web site HERE.