BYU takes both weekend matches from men's volleyball

Despite beating BYU in a game, a feat that had only been done twice before, the UCSD men’s volleyball team dropped a pair of matches against perennial Mountain Pacific Sports Federation-foe BYU.

After being swept 3-0 on Feb. 7, the Tritons opened the next night’s match with a renewed energy. Despite being plagued by an inability to win crucial points this season, UCSD was able to squeeze out a 30-28 win in the first game. The Tritons committed only seven errors in the game to BYU’s eight, and UCSD stepped up its block, which had been relatively ineffectual the previous match. The victory marked only the third time in the teams’ 14 meetings that the Tritons have taken a game from the Cougars.

Despite the minor achievement, UCSD setter Eric Perrine insists there is nothing to be satisfied with, and contends that BYU is beatable.

“”They’re a good team for sure, but we are too,”” he said. “”They just seem to do the little things.””

The Cougars regained their dominant form in the subsequent three games, winning 30-23, 30-27 and 30-22. Rafael Paal led the BYU side with 14 kills, while Adam Toren led the Tritons with a match-high 16. As a team, however, the Cougars out-hit UCSD .258 to .131.

Adding to the 16-12.5 blocking edge that BYU posted was the Cougars’ ability to shut down the Tritons’ two biggest offensive weapons: Jim Waller and T.J. Young. The two combined for only 14 kills with 14 errors — a combined hitting percentage of zero.

“”They knew [Waller] was our best hitter and they kept a blocker on him,”” Perrine said.

The Cougars learned well from the previous evening’s experiences as Waller dropped 15 kills and Young added 11 to pace a Triton offense that stayed tight with BYU all evening, but was felled in three games (30-28, 30-28, 30-27).

Perrine dished out 46 assists in the loss and led his team with eight digs, while libero Chris Mortimer picked up seven in his return to the lineup after a foot injury.

The Tritons committed 25 attack errors to 16 for BYU and were out-blocked by a 14-4 margin.

After a frustrating set of close losses, Perrine’s statement about what his team would do remained simple.

“”We’re just going to work hard in practice,”” he said.

The Tritons will have the week to prepare before heading to Northern California for a two-game swing Feb. 14 and Feb. 15 against University of the Pacific and Stanford University.