The BYU Cougars men's volleyball team may have had a rough end to their regular season -- but the Cougar men put it all together in the postseason. They won all three matches in their Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament -- and swept all three teams they played, including Stanford -- to capture the MPSF tournament title.
The dominating performance against Stanford marked just the second time in MPSF tournament history that any team has won the title in straight sets -- and was a first for BYU. With this MPSF title the Cougars -- who were led by tourney MVP Taylor Sander with 15 kills -- also earned an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
Sander led BYU all year long with a whopping 478 kills -- but Josue Rivera and Devin Young also did their parts, netting 207 and 149 respectively. Tyler Heap was another standout for BYU, combining for 965 sets and an astounding 10.60 average.
BYU head coach Chris McGown may have had doubts after such an average regular season by BYU Men's Volleyball standards -- but the Cougars answered any questions about their ability to win another national championship going forward. Is this the year BYU puts it all together to win its first national title since 2004? It certainly has momentum now.
“I thought we put together a wonderful tournament,” BYU head coach Chris McGown said at his post-tournament press conference. “There were some questions about our team going into it. We backed our way into it with a couple of tough road weekends, but we put that behind us and played great the whole way through.”
The Cougars, who received a first-round bye as a 2 seed as well, will face the winner of Stanford -- who got a 3 seed -- and No. 6 seed Erskine later this week in the first national semifinal. Loyola -- a team which defeated BYU earlier this season -- will face the winner of No. 4 seed Lewis College and No. 5 Penn State in the second national semifinal.