BYU Volleyball is good. Really good.
But that’s no secret to BYU fans. After all, the women’s team is coming off a spectacular 2018 season which ended in the Final Four to eventual champion Stanford. They spent 11 straight weeks as the top-ranked team in the nation and were the only team to beat eventual champion Stanford in their first meeting. Seven different players earned eight different AVCA honors (Heather Gneiting won Freshman of the Year and was named Third Team All-American).
Now the men’s season is just under a week away, and expectations are high.
Shawn Olmstead’s Cougars are ranked fifth in AVCA’s Preseason Poll and are coming off a third straight Final Four appearance, as well as a MPSF Title in both the regular season and the conference tournament.
BYU went 22-7 overall last season, and four Cougars were named to All-American teams. 2018 AVCA Newcomer of the Year and Second Team All-American Gabi Garcia Fernandez returns to lead the Cougars after a spectacular 2018 season, as do middle blockers Felipe de Brito Ferreira (So.), Miki Jauhiainen(Jr.), and outside hitter Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga(Jr.). Overall, BYU brings back 14 players from last year’s team.
The Cougars are also picked second in the MPSF Pre-Season Poll after last year’s runner-up and second-ranked team in the country, UCLA. BYU’s 2019 schedule includes six opponents who are ranked in the AVCA Preseason Top 10, and the home schedule will be extremely competitive and promises some thrilling match-ups. In addition to the conference slate, BYU has non-conference games with Ohio State, Penn State, Santa Barbara and Hawaii.
BYU opens the season on January 10 at the Smith Fieldhouse against 8th ranked Ohio State at 7 pm, and host Ball St. on January 12 two days later.