By David Andrews
The question of inconsistency became old news for the BYU men?s volleyball team weeks ago.
Nearing the end of a rollercoaster season, the No. 4 ranked Cougars finished their California road trip last weekend just as many would have expected.
In a two-match showdown against the No. 8 Matadors of Cal State Northridge, the Cougars dominated in Friday?s victory 3-1 (30-21, 25-30, 30-20, 30-28) and were then disgraced in Saturday?s 3-0 loss (19-30, 16-30, 28-30).
The Cougars fell to 16-9 overall and 11-7 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with the loss while Northridge improved to 15-11 and 8-10.
“Northridge played well and kept us out of rhythm,” BYU head coach Tom Peterson said in a news release. “It was probably our worst match of the year.”
Friday?s match displayed a fluid-like Cougar squad that featured sharp passing and precise serving. BYU recorded a season-high 13 service aces en route to a composed victory. Casey Patterson set a career-high with four aces.
Victory Batista came up big, leading the Cougars with 19 kills and hitting an impressive .680. Ivan Perez added 16 kills of his own.
Overall, BYU hit .277 compared to the .239 percentage of Northridge.
The Cougars steamrolled through the first game with some strong defense and a structured offense only to ease up in the Saturday?s game.
The second match was not one to remember as BYU?s offense stumbled and the brick wall defense crumbled. A meager .170 hitting percentage also hampered the Cougars as Northridge hit .400. BYU?s 4.5 blocks also opened the gates for a Matador shutout.
Despite 12 kills from Batista and 11 from Perez, the Cougars failed to even reach 20 points in the first two games.
BYU put up a fight in the third game with an improved .387 hitting percentage, but with the score tied at 24, the Matadors began to pull away to a 30-28 victory.
The Cougars will take on the Tritons of UC San Diego for their final home games of the season this Friday and Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse.