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Men's Volleyball Blog

Cougars prepare for national championship match against Ohio State

May 06, 2016 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 5:03 pm | Updated: May 7, 2016 8:14 am | Permalink

BYU men's volleyball took to the court at Rec Hall Friday morning for a 90 minute practice. Following the training session, players Ben Patch, Jake Langlois, Erik Sikes and head coach Shawn Olmstead met the media for a press conference. The team studied film on Ohio State during the afternoon and evening in preparation for Saturday's match against the No. 3 seed Buckeyes. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and BYU Radio - Sirius XM 143. 

BYU prepares for Long Beach State

May 04, 2016 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 8:11 pm | Updated: May 5, 2016 2:06 pm | Permalink

BYU men's volleyball took to Rec Hall for its first practice at the foreign Penn State gym Wednesday morning. Following an intense hour and a half practice, Ben Patch, Brenden Sander, Jake Langlois and head coach Shawn Olmstead participated in a press conference for the media. After studying film in the afternoon, later that night the team took part in team photos and the Final Four banquet where Michael Hatch was honored with the Elite 90 award - given to the student-athlete at the championship with the highest cumulative GPA while being a significant contributer on his team.

Cougars travel to Penn State in preparation for Final Four

May 03, 2016 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 9:18 pm | Updated: May 3, 2016 9:19 pm | Permalink

BYU men's volleyball took to the court early Tuesday morning for one final practice at the Smith Fieldhouse before traveling to Penn State. The team then took a charter flight from Provo, Utah, direct to the University Park Airport, with a pit-stop for gas in Des Moines, Iowa. After dinner, the Cougars returned to their hotel to mentally prepare for practice on Wednesday.

Three Cougars named to 2016 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American teams

Dec 10, 2015 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 2:36 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – Three BYU men's volleyball players were named to the 2016 Off the Block/Sprinbak, Inc. Preseason All-American teams, the site announced Thursday.

An 18-member voting committee, comprised of head men's volleyball coaches and volleyball reporters, selected 21 players to the first and second teams - including Ben Patch on the first team and Jake Langlois and Brenden Sander on the second team.

The annual preseason teams recognize the NCAA Division I-II men's volleyball players projected to be the best in the nation in the upcoming season.

BYU, along with Loyola-Chicago and Hawai'i, have a nation-best three players on the list. 

 2016 OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Peter Hutz, Loyola
Setter: Jonah Seif, UC Santa Barbara
Opposite: Tamir Hershko, UC Irvine
Opposite: Ben Patch, BYU
Outside attacker: Nicolas Szerszen, Ohio State
Outside attacker: Sinisa Zarkovic, Hawai’i
Middle attacker: Jason Agopian, UC Irvine
Middle attacker: Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Middle attacker: Bobby Walsh, Lewis
Libero: Kolby Kanetake, Hawai’i

2016 OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Scott Fifer, Lewis
Setter: Jennings Franciskovic, Hawai’i
Setter: James Shaw, Stanford
Opposite: Matt Tarantino, Pepperdine
Outside attacker: JT Hatch, UCLA
Outside attacker: Jake Langlois, BYU
Outside attacker: Brenden Sander, BYU
Middle attacker: Andy Benesh, USC
Middle attacker: Conrad Kaminski, Stanford
Middle attacker: Nick Olson, Loyola
Libero: Andrew Sato, Long Beach State

Others receiving votes:TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State; Taylor Gregory, Long Beach State; Andy Sellan, IPFW; Michael Michelau, Erskine; Miles Johnson, Ohio State; Kyle Russell, UC Irvine; Michael Hatch, BYU; Mitch Stahl, UCLA; Matt Walsh, Ball State; Jake Arnitz, UCLA; Luis Bertran, IPFW; Hayden Boehle, UC Santa Barbara; Artur Cabral, Coker; Jabarry Goodridge, NJIT; Micah Ma’a, UCLA; Leshon Alexander, Coker; Christopher DeLucie, Sacred Heart; Matt Douglas, USC; Nick Drooker, King; Jacob Duckworth, Lindenwood; Liam Flaherty, Coker; Luke Grupe, Coker; Driss Guessous, Ohio State; Ryan Hardy, UC Santa Barbara; Brian Negron, George Mason; Ryan Mather, Grand Canyon; Joao Victor Santos, Coker; Alex Slaught, USC; Matt Underwood, BYU; Austin Arcala, Sacred Heart; Joshua Ayzenberg, Sacred Heart; Andrew Benz, UC Irvine; Christy Blough, Ohio State; Kyle Cazarez, Holy Names; Evan Chang, BYU; Branden Clemens, Harvard; Tanner Compton, Holy Names; Fabio Diniz, Pfeiffer; Josh Donahue, Mount Olive Doug Dzema, Sacred Heart; Jack Gamache, Quincy; Taylor Hammond, Penn State; Alex Harthaller, IPFW; TJ Jurko, NJIT; Matt Marsh, UC Santa Barbara; Mike Marshman, St. Francis; Ryan Moore, Lindenwood; Luke Motoyama, Holy Names; Christopher Nugent, Penn State; Wyatt Patterson, McKendree; Mitch Penning, Pepperdine; Jalen Penrose, Penn State; Ben Plaisted, Loyola; Radoslav Popov, George Mason; Jacob Schmiegelt, Lewis; Michael Schneck, Erskine; Brooks Varni, USC; Ryan Vorderer, Lindenwood; Eduardo Zardo, Sacred Heart 


 

Sander leads USA to gold

Jul 21, 2014 - Posted by at 11:10 am | Updated: July 21, 2014 11:11 am | Permalink

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Former BYU outside hitter Taylor Sander led the U.S. Men’s National Team to defeat the world’s No. 1 Brazil 3-1 (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) Sunday, clinching the FIVB World League gold medal for a second time in the team’s history.

Sander led Team USA in points for the third-consecutive match. He notched 24 points in the contest on 22 kills, earning him MVP honors of the tournament. He was also named Best Spiker. 

Two and a half months ago, Sander was playing for BYU in the NCAA Men's National Championships.

Taylor Sander played an amazing game,” USA middle blocker David Lee said. “Guys like him are the future, and tonight really couldn’t have worked out better.”

Team USA handled three key phases of the match with Brazil, winning in attacks (60-51), blocks (14-11) and digs (42-40), on their way to the 3-1 win.

With the win, the U.S. joins Brazil (9), Italy (8), and Russia (3) as teams that have won gold more than once at the FIVB World League.

The last gold-medal win for Team USA at the FIVB World League came against Serbia in 2008.

Next up for the team will be the USA Volleyball Cup against Iran in August.

Day 12: Venice

May 22, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 1:23 pm | Permalink

The Cougars enjoyed their last day of their European tour in Venice, Italy, on Thursday. The team took boat rides and visited the island of Murano, where Italians have been making world-famous Venetian glass since the 13th century. The Cougars were even able to watch the glass making process and see glass sculptures made from the glass.

The team also saw St. Mark’s Basilica, an Italo-Byzantine cathedral and one of the most famous churches in Venice.

Friday the team returns to the U.S. after earning a 5-2 record against foreign opponents from three countries. The Cougars visited six different countries during their tour.

Days 8-11: Zagreb, Rovinj, Pula

May 21, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 8:28 pm | Permalink

This week the volleyball team has been in Croatia, starting in Zagreb. Sunday the Cougars went to church in Zagreb. There were only about 25 people in the branch. The team listened to the service via translators.

After Zagreb, the team moved on to Rovinj, a small Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea.

Monday, the Cougars explored the beautiful Plitvicka Jezera Lakes in one of the oldest national parks in Europe. The cascading lakes are known for their bright shades of green and blue, which change depending on weather, minerals and organisms in the water.

Tuesday the Cougars explored the city and the coast in Rovinj, then on Wednesday headed to Pula, another city on the Croatian coast. In both cities BYU played against club teams and won both matches.

Thursday the team will travel to Italy for the last leg of its journey.

Days 4-7: Vienna, Maribor, Zagreb

May 17, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 11:25 pm | Permalink

The team traveled through Austria on its way to Slovenia, stopping in Vienna to check out some sights. One place they visited was St. Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the most recognized buildings in Vienna. Its colorful tiled roof sets it apart from the other Gothic cathedrals in Europe. The team also visited the opera house and government buildings.

In Maribor, the team stayed at Dras Hotel, which had a volleyball court, indoor soccer field and weight room inside. When the Cougars played the Slovenia National B Team, they simply had to walk downstairs to get to the court. BYU lost the first match to Slovenia 3-1, but came back in the second match to win 3-2.

On one of their days in Maribor, the Cougars got to experience the Slovenian Alps. They rode a ski lift up the mountain to a giant alpine slide, ropes course and alpine swing. While there, the guys ate Slovenia’s famous sausage and enjoyed a gondola ride after dark, which allowed them an amazing view of the city lights.

After Maribor the team headed to Zagreb, Croatia, where the Cougars played against HOK Mladost Zagreb Saturday evening. BYU won in four sets, but the teams decided to play a fifth set.

Former Cougars to play in NORCECA qualifier

May 15, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 12:29 pm | Updated: May 15, 2014 1:17 pm | Permalink

Former Cougars Taylor Sander and Russell Holmes were named to the 12-man squad that will compete in the NORCECA Men’s World Championship Qualification Tournament, which begins Thursday. 

The U.S. will compete against St. Lucia at 7 p.m. MDT Thursday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The match can be streamed live online from the USA Volleyball website.

For more information, visit teamusa.org.

Day 3: Prague

May 15, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 10:38 am | Updated: May 15, 2014 10:41 am | Permalink

Tuesday the team visited Prague's new town and saw the John Lennon Wall. The Lennon Wall is filled with graffiti and is constantly changing due to new graffiti, mostly based on Lennon and Beatles lyrics. The Cougars have enjoyed getting to know Prague, especially its amazing architecture.

While exploring the city, they saw David Cerny's baby statues, which are 10 enormous statues of crawling babies with big coin slots on their heads instead of faces. Cerny is a Czech sculptor who tries for the shock factor in his work. (See image below of the team with the baby statues.)

The team has also gotten a taste of authentic food, including meat dumplings with cream sauce, blueberry sweet sauce and pancakes that turned their teeth blue. They've enjoyed the European cuisine so far.

The team competed against CZU Prague Tuesday. CZU Prague won in four sets, but both teams enjoyed the experience along with all the BYU and Czech fans.