Men's Volleyball Blog

Hatch named finalist for Off the Block/Springbak Blocker of the Year

Apr 16, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 11:19 am | Updated: April 16, 2014 11:39 am | Permalink

BYU middle blocker Michael Hatch was named one of three finalists for Off the Block/Springbak National Blocker of the Year on BYU Sports Nation Wednesday. The winner of the award will be announced Tuesday.

Hatch leads the No. 4 Cougars with 1.34 blocks per set, good for No. 4 nationally. 

The voting committee for this award was comprised of more than 20 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.

For the complete release, visit offtheblockblog.com.

U.S. Men's Junior National Team opens play

Aug 22, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 1:43 pm | Permalink

The U.S. Men's Junior National Team (MJNT) opened play at the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship with a 3-1 (25-11, 25-18, 27-29, 25-14) win over Rwanda in Pool C, on Thursday in Izmir, Turkey.

BYU opposite Ben Patch scored 15 points on 12 kills, one block and two aces.

The United States (1-0) will play Serbia on Friday, Aug. 23, at 10 a.m. EDT.

The MJNT converted 63.41 percent of its attacks for points while limiting Rwanda to only 39.08 percent. Though Rwanda had 29 errors to the United States' 30, the U.S. had the advantage in kills (52-34), blocks (10-4) and aces (10-5).

"I want to congratulate Rwanda for their good game,” MJNT Head Coach Pete Hanson said in an FIVB press conference. “We were very emotional and had ups and downs during the game. I believe that we played good volleyball, but we have a lack of training. That’s why we made some mistakes. We will improve as the tournament progresses."

For more information about the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship, click here.

 

2013 U.S. Men’s Junior National Volleyball Team Name (Position, Hometown, School, USAV Region)
2 - Taylor Gregory (MB, Saugus, Calif., Long Beach State University, SCVA)
4 - Tony Ensbury (L, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Princeton University, SCVA)
5 - Driss Guessous (MB, Pasadena, Calif., Ohio State University, SCVA)
6 - Michael Henchy (OH, Ventura, Calif., Ohio State University, SCVA)
8 - Nicholas Olson (MB, New Berlin, Wis., Loyola University, Chicago, Badger)
9 - Ben Patch (Opp, Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University, Intermountain)
12 - Aaron Russell (OH, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State University, Chesapeake)
14 - James Shaw (S, Woodside, Calif., Stanford University, NCVA)
15 - Kyle Russell (OH, Loomis, Calif., UC Irvine, NCVA)
16 - Tom Jaeschke (OH, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola University, Chicago, Great Lakes)
17 - Matt West (S, Seattle, Wash., Pepperdine University, Puget Sound)
18 - D.J. White (OH, Hermosa Beach, Calif., Harvard University, SCVA)

Pool C (at Izmir, Turkey – Ataturk Sports Hall)
Aug. 22: United States def. Rwanda, 3-1
Aug. 22: Canada def. Tunisia, 3-1
Aug. 23: Rwanda vs. Tunisia
Aug. 23: Serbia vs. United States
Aug. 24: Tunisia vs. Serbia
Aug. 24: Canada vs. Rwanda
Aug. 25: Serbia vs. Canada
Aug. 25: United States vs. Tunisia
Aug. 26: Canada vs. United States
Aug. 26: Rwanda vs. Serbia

Round Robin 17th-20th (Aug. 29-31)
The fifth-ranked teams after the first round will play a round robin to determine the classification 17th-20th.
 
Semifinals and Playoffs (Aug. 30-31)
The semifinals and playoffs rounds consist of a total of eight matches: two semifinal matches for the rankings 1-4, two matches for the classification 5-8, two matches for the classification 9-12 and two matches for the classification 13-16.
 
Finals and Playoffs (Sept. 1)
The finals and playoffs consist of a total of eight matches: the winners of the semifinals will play the final, 1st-2nd position. The losers of the semifinals will play for the 3rd and 4th rank position. The winners of the playoff 5-8 will play for the 5th-6th position and the losers of the playoff 5-8 will play for the 7th-8th position. The winners of the playoff 9-12 will play for the 9th-10th position and the losers of the playoff 9-12 will play for the 11th-12th position. The winners of the playoff 13-16 will play for the 13th-14th position and the losers of the playoff 13-16 will play for the 15th-16th position.

Sander leads Team USA to win over Dominican Republic

Aug 20, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 11:33 am | Permalink

Senior BYU sensation Taylor Sander led the United States as it held off the Dominican Republic to win its first pool play match of the men's Pan American Cup, 26-24, 25-14, 22-25, 21-25, 15-7 on Monday in Mexico City.

Sander, an outside hitter from Huntington Beach, Calif., led the United States' effort with 19 points on 15 kills, three blocks and one ace. Middle blocker Jacek Ratajczak (Warsaw, Poland) added 14 points on eight kills, three blocks and a match-high three aces.

After the United States won the first two sets, the Dominican Republic came back to win the next two thanks to Elvis Contreras, who led all scorers with 22 points.
 
“It was a good match for both teams,” U.S. head coach, and former BYU coach, Shawn Patchell said. “We felt nervous in the beginning, had some trouble in the third and fourth sets. We could not stop [Jose Miguel] Caceres, but pulled out and improved our service. I am happy for this win.”

Former Cougar Russ Lavaja scored one point on one kill as a substitue at middle blocker.

The United States is 1-0 in Pool B and will play Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday and host Mexico on Wednesday.

For the full release, visit teamusa.org.

Mike Wall named U.S. Men's Assistant Coach

Jul 31, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 5:22 pm | Permalink

USA Volleyball annonced the hire of former Cougar Mike Wall as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team.

Wall played college volleyball at BYU where he was an opposite from 1997-2002 and led the Cougars to two NCAA National Championship squads. In 2001 and 2002, Wall was named an AVCA First Team All-American. After beating UCLA in three sets to take the 2002 NCAA championship, Wall was named the Final Four MVP and BYU's Most Competitive Athlete.

“Mike has high-level experience both in volleyball and in business,” U.S. head coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) said. “His talents will be invaluable to us both on the court and in the office as we work to build the U.S. Men’s National Team program.”

Wall has already worked with the team during its 2013 FIVB World League matches.

“I’m honored and excited to be joining John, Matt Fuerbringer and the USA men’s volleyball program for the next three years,” Wall said. “Our staff is committed to working hard for this group of athletes. I’m looking forward to the challenge."

For the full release and more information on Wall, visit teamusa.org.

Former Cougar wins World Series of Beach Volleyball

Jul 29, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 1:15 pm | Permalink

Former BYU volleyball player Casey Patterson and teammate Jake Gibb turned heads in the World Series of Beach Volleyball championship match in Long Beach, Calif., Sunday, coming away with a 22-20, 21-11 victory over Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia.

The duos previously faced each other in the FIVB final in May in Argentina where the Latvians swept Patterson and Gibb, but the former Cougar and his partner most recently topped their opponent in straight sets earlier this month in Switzerland.

For the full article read here.

Patterson played at BYU from 2002-2005 and helped the Cougars to their most recent National Championship in 2004.

Volleyball around the world

Jul 29, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 9:50 am | Permalink

In case you missed it, 2012 AVCA Freshman of the Year Ben Patch was selected to represent the United States on the U.S. Men’s Junior National Volleyball Team (MJNT) at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.

Eight players on the 12-player roster were part of the 2012 MJNT that won the NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship in Colorado Springs, where Patch was named the MVP.

The final 12-player roster was selected from an original field of 22 after a final tryout period in Southern California in June.

In August, the team will reconvene at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to train for the FIVB Men’s Volleyball U21 World Championship held in Ankara and Izmir, Turkey from Aug. 22 – Sept. 1

View the full release at teamusa.org.

Also competing internationally is incoming freshman Lucas Coleman. Coleman competed at the U19 World Championships for Beach in Porto, Portugal, July 11-14. Playing alongside partner Blake Scheerhoorn, Coleman entered the tournament ranked No. 13 overall and No. 2 in Pool D.

With two wins in Pool D, Coleman and Sheerhoorn advanced to Round 1 where they dropped their match to the No. 1-seed.

Coleman is a 6-foot-3 outside hitter from Brooklin, Ontario, Canada and will join the Cougars this fall to prepare for the 2014 season. 

Day 3 Practice

May 03, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 1:57 pm | Permalink

Check out pictures below from the Cougars' practice today at Pauley Pavilion in preparation for the 2013 NCAA National Championship match. BYU takes on UC Irvine Saturday at 7 p.m. MDT on ESPNU.

NCAA Tournament Friday Press Conference Transcript

May 03, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 12:49 pm | Updated: May 3, 2013 2:32 pm | Permalink

Below are quotes and pictures from Friday's pre-championship press conference with BYU head coach Chris McGown, Ben Patch and Russ Lavaja

BYU head coach Chris McGown

Opening statement
“We are excited to be playing in the national championship match. I felt like we had a nice effort last night and did a lot of things really well, as well as a few things we want to get better at. We’re excited to be playing a very good UC Irvine team and expect that this match will be one of those phenomenal match-ups.”

On star power
“It comes down to teams that can execute and teams with good players that can execute in those big moments. There’s a guy from ESPN - Simmons, who talks about fact that the team with the best player in the series tends to win that series. I think that ultimately it comes down to personnel and executions and we‘ve got some phenomenal athletes on our team. They (UCI) certainly have some wonderful athletes on their team. I think that’s one of the things that they have that’s unlike any other program in the country, it’s the depth of talent. They’ve got guys that were two-deep on the bench that were all-conference players.

On UCI’s defense
“John [Speraw], I thought was masterful at getting his guys to play big in tough situations: down two, come back and win in five, down two, come back and win in five. They really had to battle through the conference championship last year to make it to this match. [This year] they’ve strung together a wonderful season, battled through some injuries, and had to put out different lineups and different rotations, so that’s going to be one of their strengths. Kniffin is not afraid to pull the trigger on changing some lineups and getting different guys different looks and it makes them difficult to plan for.

On game plan
“We’re kind of pushing the reset button on our expectations with them just because I don’t know that we will see the same team – different setter, different outside. It’s interesting to see, I think they will be a little bit different than what we saw before. But I think we can take some confidence from the fact that we were in a really tough spot being down in the third and being able to battle and that’s  kind of been the theme for us the last half of the season is our ability to come back. Our team understands we can team through some of these tough moments. If we can come together and stay together, we’ll be solid enough to play through some of these difficulties.

BYU middle clocker Russ Lavaja

Players’ familiarity with UCI
“UCI is an awesome team, they’ve got, like Chris said, a bunch of really good players and they know how to play a long, deep match. It’s not going to be a quick one, I don’t think. I think it’s going to long and I think it’s going to be a good one.

BYU opposite Ben Patch

On familiarity with UCI
“Yeah, prior to this we’ve played them twice so we know a little bit about them. They have great athleticism and they’re a talented team so I think it’s going to come down to who executes in those moments and who plays better.”

NCAA volleyball
“It’s sometimes an out of body experience being able to play with people that are your idols and standing by them. It’s just been a really humbling experience.”

Expectations of championship game
“Two best teams in the country in pre-season, I think they nailed it when they said it was going to be us and here we are.”

On leaving volleyball for his mission
“It’s not my last volleyball match, but it is my last as a collegiate athlete for two years. I’ve got the USA Junior team in the summer still. The lessons that you learn out on a mission translate into your game when you come back so you just have to work hard again.”

Day 2 Practice Pictures

May 02, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 2:17 pm | Permalink

The Cougars just wrapped up practice at Pauley Pavilion in preparation for tonight's semifinal match against Penn State at 9 p.m. MDT. You can watch BYU live at NCAA.com.

AVCA Awards Banquet

May 01, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 9:50 pm | Permalink

The team participated in the AVCA Awards Banquet Wednesday night, honoring this year's AVCA All-Americans. Among those being recognized from BYU were junior Taylor Sander and freshman Ben Patch, both named to the All-America First Team, and senior Russ Lavaja, who was named to the second team. Patch was also honored as the NCAA Division I-II Newcomer of the Year.

With a 3.8 GPA, Phil Fuchs won the Elite 89 award. The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA championships.

Click here for the complete AVCA All-American release.