The start times for Thursday's two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation volleyball tournament semifinal matches have been switched, with top-seed and tourney host Long Beach State opting to move to the earlier match.

Second-seeded BYU, which on Monday had been scheduled to play in the earlier semifinal, will play in the nightcap at Long Beach's 4,200-seat Walter Pyramid.

BYU and Long Beach State had tied for the first place in the regular-season MPSF standings, but the 49ers received the top seed and the hosting rights because of their 2-0 season series record over the Cougars.

In Thursday's first MPSF semifinal, second-ranked Long Beach State (23-5) takes on fifth-ranked Pepperdine (14-10) at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time. The pair split their two regular-season meetings, with each posting a 3-0 sweep on its own home court.

In the second semi set for 8 p.m. Pacific, the third-ranked Cougars (24-4) face fourth-ranked Cal State Northridge (23-6), with the Matadors finishing a game behind the co-leaders in the regular-season standings. BYU swept the two regular-season meetings in Provo in early February, but CSUN followed the two losses with 14 consecutive match wins and a late-season No. 1 national ranking.

The two semifinal winners advance to Saturday's championship match at 7 p.m. Pacific. The tournament champion also earns the federation's automatic berth in the 2008 NCAA Final Four next week in Irvine, Calif.

E-mail: [email protected]