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BYU men's volleyball: Cougars get a tune-up before conference tourney

Published April 17, 2012 11:21 pm

As Cougars wait to find out their postseason fate, they host tough Penn State team.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

While the BYU men's volleyball team waits to find out where it will finish in its conference, the Cougars won't be sitting around, not with Penn State invading the Smith Fieldhouse for a pair of matches Friday and Saturday.

BYU, coming off a crazy weekend at UCLA, must prepare for what is essentially a tune-up match with No. 7 Penn State (20-3) for the upcoming conference tournament. This weekend's matches may also be an NCAA Tournament preview.

"We're treating this week like the playoffs have started," BYU coach Chris McGown said of his fourth-ranked Cougars. "You have to be at your best."

BYU has already completed its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation schedule. The Cougars (21-6) have already clinched at least a home quarterfinal match for the MPSF tournament on April 21. Whether they host the entire tournament depends on what happens this weekend in a handful of matches involving other teams.

What definitely didn't help BYU's chances was the split at UCLA, when an apparent match-winning point Friday was overturned following a 10-minute discussion between officials. The Cougars thought they had won, then learned they had lost.

Then, the next day, the conference decided to replay the point before the regularly scheduled match was to begin.

BYU won the point and the match, but was not ready mentally to play the next game and lost in three straight. The Cougars now sit in second in conference.

"By the end of the match it was really erratic," McGown said of the officiating. "We weren't getting calls we clearly should have gotten. It was a lot to ask of the guys. And UCLA played much better."

Penn State, which has the NCAA's top winning percentage, comes to Provo on a seven-match win streak. Joe Sunder leads the Nittany Lions with 272 kills and a 3.63 average.

Robb Stowell leads the Cougar offense with 348 kills. Taylor Sander, despite missing all of February with a hand injury, had a nation-high 176 combined kills in March, including four matches with at least 20 kills. —

Up next

P No. 7 Penn State at No. 4 BYU

At Smith Fieldhouse

Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m.




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