Men’s volleyball shows off ’04 team

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    By Emily Raymond

    The BYU men”s volleyball team ruled the court Saturday night as it played … itself.

    The Blue and White scrimmage allowed head coach Tom Peterson and assistant coach Shawn Patchell to see the team perform under the pressure of a crowd.

    “This match gives us a chance to see what we need to work on,” Patchell said. “We know as soon as the season starts, we need to be ready. This is a time to refine our skills and work on our weaknesses.”

    The White team prevailed in the two-game match (30-28, 30-27), led by senior Chris Gorney, who posted eight kills for the night.

    The Blue team was led by senior Joe Hillman, who scored nine kills.

    “We are still working on a few things to get ready for the season,” Peterson said. “Our offense is doing well, but we”ll need to improve on serving and passing to be an elite team in the country.

    “We do have great athletes, and our depth is going to be our strength – as well as the crowd.”

    The Cougars have the advantage with depth even though they graduated three starters from last year”s team.

    “We have a great recruiting class,” Peterson said. “This class should give us as many good players as any other team. Some teams will have six or seven great players, but we will have more than 15 guys.”

    The men”s volleyball team will need that depth when it begins its regular season play against nationally ranked teams such as the University of Southern California and Stanford.

    The Cougars” tough schedule will prepare them for another shot at the national championship, which they have won twice since 1999.

    “Our chances are as good as last year”s,” said senior outside hitter Fernando Pessoa. “We have a young team, but we have a lot of potential.”

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