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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.)

Day 2: Prague and match vs. Brno

May 12, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 3:03 pm | Updated: May 12, 2014 3:11 pm | Permalink

On their second day in Europe, the Cougars did some sight seeing and played their first match against a foreign opponent.

The team took a walking tour of Prague, which including visiting a church, climbing a tower and seeing the changing of the guard at the president's house.

Monday evening the team competed against the Brno club team, winning 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 19-25, 23-21) after a tough fifth set. Volejbal Brno led 14-12 in the fifth set, but the Cougars bounced back for the 23-21 fifth-set victory.

Day 1: Travel to Prague

May 11, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 10:53 pm | Permalink

The team reached Prague Sunday after a long couple days of travel. One of their layovers was in Amsterdam, where they were able to see a little of the city before their last flight to Prague.

From outside hitter Phil Fuchs:

Three Cougars named to U.S. Men's National Team

May 07, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 1:26 pm | Permalink

Three former Cougars have been selected to the 22-player U.S. Men’s National Team preliminary roster for the 2014 FIVB World League.

Outside hitter Taylor Sander, who was named AVCA National Player of the Year April 30 for his senior season performance, is one of three college players named to the team. He is joined by middle blockers Futi Tavana, who played at BYU from 2009-12, and Russell Holmes, who played for the Cougars from 2004-2008. Holmes competed with the Olympic team in 2012.

Chicago: Day 2

Apr 30, 2014 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 8:53 pm | Updated: April 30, 2014 8:58 pm | Permalink

BYU men's volleyball headed to the Joseph J. Gentile Arena in the morning for early practice and a prematch press conference. Coach Chris McGown and players Taylor Sander and Devin Young addressed the media before watching film on their opponent, Stanford. Read the press conference transcript.