Lockfort Reports on BYU Vollyeball

In between two huge home matches against #1-ranked Pepperdine, TBS member George Lockfort looks back at the BYU volleyball team's contests against the Bruins of UCLA. Geroge was onhand for both matches.

On Thursday, Jan 26th, the BYU second-ranked Men's Volleyball played UCLA's sixth-ranked team in the Pauley Pavilion in front of a small crowd. BYU started out slowly, even their kills seemed to travel in slow motion. They lost the first game badly 24-30, as nothing seemed to go well for the Cougars. UCLA's errors in this game kept BYU as close as they were, however BYU was making too many errors of their own. It was beginning to look as if it were going to be a long night for the BYU fans in attendance.

My wife and I were sitting with family members of Jonathan Charette. His mother had arrived from Hawaii to watch. Jonathan had a very enthusiastic crowd of around twelve family members and his fiancé in attendance. Most live in the area just south of Los Angeles. Brian Rowley's parents were in from Utah. It felt like BYU fans outnumbered the home crowd. We certainly did in volume.

Game two started out just as game one ended. At midpoint, BYU relaxed and took command. BYU tied UCLA about seven times during the first two games, but had not been able to take the lead. Once they did, they never really looked back. The Charette family cheerleaders took control of the pavilion. We had the wooden floorboards, and we used them. It was beginning to rock and the floor was pounding away. You would have thought you were in the Lavell Edwards Stadium.

Game three was not even close. The final score could have been 30-9 if Coach Petersen hadn't put in reserve players from the bench. UCLA's great players including Steve Klosterman and Nick Scheftic were neutralized on the court. Ultimately, the score was an embarrassment to UCLA (30-14). BYU had completely taken away the height advantage of UCLA. BYU had control of the net with thunderous kills and phenomenal blocks. Ivan Perez had some kills that came down like missiles. One of the UCLA players in the back court was struck in the face by a high-velocity spike.

In the third game, BYU out hit UCLA .636 to .148. The players on both sides of the net seemed in awe of the score. UCLA's coach, Al Scates looked bewildered and panicked. It was electrifying! It was as loud as I have ever heard it at a volleyball match, and the total crowd was less than eight hundred. But then again, I had the Charette family cheerleading squad with me. Oh, Al Scates heard from me several times when Batista was killing him with his powerful serves.

Game four started out a little closer. However, it did not take long for BYU to pull away and the final score ended up 30-24 (the opposite scores of game one).

The serving and passing made the difference in the match. Victor Batista had four service aces while Taylor Evans had three. The Cougars had a total of nine aces, while UCLA had four.

Overall, the hitting was outstanding; Jonathan Charette (.533), Ivan Perez (.500), Victor Batista (.471) and Taylor Evans (.474) were on fire. Six of the players had digs. BYU had nineteen service errors to UCLA's thirty-two, which I thought was attributed to BYU's fiery adjustment. UCLA was psyched out midway in the second game and never recovered.

Saturday night the match went back and forth for both teams. BYU won the first and third games, UCLA won the second and fourth games. BYU lost the match in what we would call a shoot out in the fifth game causing it to go to 19 points for UCLA to win. In the fifth game, BYU had more kills, but they also committed more errors. Charette's family and all BYU fans were stunned at how hot and cold BYU played that night. UCLA's star players ruled the night.

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