BYU Athletics Blog

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.

Broderick and Bull named NFCA All-Pacific Region

May 15, 2014 - Posted by Spencer Shamo at 11:19 am | Updated: May 15, 2014 11:25 am | Permalink

Freshmen McKenna Bull and Sydney Broderick were both named to the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association Third Team All-Pacific Region on Thursday.

Broderick led BYU with a .365 average to go along with six home runs and 31 RBI. She was No. 84 in the country with three sacrifice flies and was the No. 65 toughest strikeout.

Bull finished the season with a 3.04 ERA and 191 strikeouts. Bull finished third in the country in saves and was 34th in strikeouts per seven innings.

You can see a full list of the NFCA All-Region team at NFCA.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. 

Kaneakua Friel adds to BYU players receiving NFL opportunities

May 13, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 3:40 pm | Updated: May 13, 2014 7:07 pm | Permalink

Former BYU tight end Kaneakua Friel accepted a minicamp invitation from the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday, adding to the list of Cougars receiving NFL opportunities. Friel is the sixth member of the 2013 team to receive a chance to compete at the NFL level. 

Friel totaled 491 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 45 games played as a Cougar, averaging 10.2 yards per catch. He had a single-game best of 101 yards and two touchdowns in BYU's home win over Washington State in 2012. Friel was on the John Mackey Award watch list and College Football Performance Awards Tight End Trophy watch list in 2013. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound native of Kaneohe, Hawai'i, also played in the 2013 East-West Shrine game that features many of the nation's top players.

The following links provide more information about BYU players pursuing NFL opportunities.

BYU players reach agreements as free agents

Van Noy drafted with 40th pick overall

Reaction to Van Noy being selected by the Detroit Lions 

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.

Freshman Tim Dobbert led BYU with 19 kills, followed by Josue Rivera's 15 kills, Jake Langlois's 12 and Matt Underwood's 11.

"We started a little slow, but we had 10 days without practice coupled with almost 30 hours of travel, so it took us a set to start playing well," BYU head coach Chris McGown said. "We got the chance to play almost our entire bench, and had some great moments to keep the match alive in the fifth set. I loved that right off the bat we had a challenging match, and that our players experienced a tough road environment. Our hosts were amazingly gracious, and it was really an honor to compete with them."

BYU will play one more match in Prague Tuesday before heading to Maribor, Slovenia, by way of Vienna, Austria.

The craziest thing that's happened to the team so far (from junior outside hitter Phil Fuchs): "They overbooked our flight from Amsterdam to Prague, and Devin Young and his wife, Marie, had to stay there an extra night. Now that they are here, Devin's bag was lost, and he still doesn't have it!"

Reaction to KVN draft pick

May 12, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 12:11 pm | Updated: May 12, 2014 12:18 pm | Permalink

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:

"We are in Amsterdam waiting for our flight to Prague. We went out to the city to check out some of it, with some people going to the downtown, and others taking a bus to see the Anne Frank house. The weather is super rainy and windy, which made it very interesting to walk around. A lot of us were very cold. Some of us ended up taking naps in the Marriott lobby."

Check back for more updates from Europe!

Football team to include alternate home uniforms in 2014

May 08, 2014 - Posted by at 11:31 am | Updated: May 8, 2014 11:55 am | Permalink

The BYU football team will be sporting three alternate home uniforms during the upcoming season. In addition to its regular dark blue home jersey with white pants, the team will don white, royal and black uniforms in 2014.

Fans are encouraged to join the team in a white-out game when BYU hosts the University of Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 20 in LaVell Edwards Stadium. The team will take the field in all-white attire to face the visiting Cavaliers from the Atlantic Coast Conference. While the all-white look is sometimes used during road games, the white-out game with UVa will be the first time the team will wear white in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The Cougars will wear royal blue when they host in-state rival Utah State on Friday, Oct. 3. Cougar fans are encouraged to sport their royal attire for the Friday night matchup against the Aggies of the Mountain West Conference. The game will mark the fourth time the Cougars have worn a royal blue alternate jersey. BYU also wore royal for home games against Utah in 2009 and 2013 and in its 2009 Las Vegas Bowl victory over No. 16 Oregon State.

The return of the black alternate jersey takes place against former conference foe UNLV when the Cougars host the Rebels on Saturday, Nov. 15 in Provo. The Cougars welcome UNLV of the MW back to Provo for a black-out game in LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU previously wore all-back uniforms against No. 10 Oregon State in 2012. 

Check out the photos below to get a feel for the alternate uniforms.

 

 

 

2014 NFL Draft begins today

May 08, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 10:18 am | Updated: May 8, 2014 10:41 am | Permalink

Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft begins tonight in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. Live coverage begins at 8 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. MDT on ESPN, WatchESPN and on the NFL Network. The second and third rounds will take place Friday beginning at 7 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. MDT while the final four rounds are held Saturday beginning at noon EDT/10 a.m. MDT.

BYU had five players invited to the NFL Combine, four defensive and one offensive player. Only 13 programs had more than BYU’s five combine invitees and only three—Alabama, Florida State and Florida—had more defensive players invited to participate. Last year two BYU players participated in the combine, including defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah, who was later selected No. 5 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Ansah went on to record the most sacks by an NFL rookie last season. BYU's five combine participants this year is the most since 2002 when six Cougars were invited to the combine.

Upon the conclusion of the draft, undrafted players will be available to sign as free agents with one of the 32 NFL teams.

Here is a guide that features the 11 Cougars who participated in BYU's Pro Day in March. 

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.

Another former Cougar, Mike Wall, is an assistant coach for the team.

The national team will compete against Russia in Long Beach, California, June 6-7. The next week (June 13-14), the team will face Serbia in Chicago before facing Bulgaria in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, June 20-21.

The coaches will select 14 players of the 22 named to the team to compete each weekend.

For more information, visit the USA Volleyball website.