By Michael Bingham
The winning streak was stopped at five after the BYU men?s volleyball team split two matches against the University of Pacific Friday and Saturday night.
BYU extended its winning streak to five after sweeping the Tigers Friday night 3-0, but lost 3-1 after dropping three games in row Saturday night. The Cougars are now 12-7 overall and 7-5 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
Although their offensive game was off Friday, the Cougars hit .259 for the match and found their edge from a solid service game.
?We were able to get them out of system with our serve and that made a big difference,? BYU coach Tom Peterson said in a news release. ?It allowed us to control the momentum and make a few runs.?
Opposite Casey Patterson and middle blocker Victor Batista led the service attack with three aces while Taylor Evans added two.
After taking Game 1 in convincing fashion Saturday, 30-17, the Cougars sat back in their boots and lost the match in three consecutive games.
?That first game was about as good as we can play,? Peterson said in a news release. ?Then we relaxed, and we can?t do that. It?s disappointing that we still have to learn how to play under pressure and stay consistent.?
Peterson has been preaching the same sermon all season, but the words have yet to sink in on a permanent basis. In order for the Cougars to repeat as national champions, Peterson said his team needs to play better for longer periods of time.
?We?re still not good enough to keep a good thing going,? Peterson said in a news release. ?We can?t prevent momentum switches and that is a big part of volleyball. Whoever can keep the momentum for longer periods of time usually gets the win.?
The Tigers quickly took the momentum in Game 2 by stepping up intensity and making more plays. Pacific took the game 30-24 and BYU lost in similar fashion the next two games, 30-26 and 30-25.
In the loss, outside hitter Ivan Perez put up another solid performance with a career-high 24 kills while adding two aces and nine digs.