(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – In 2015, BYU men’s volleyball ended its season in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament quarterfinals with a 17-10 overall and 14-8 league record.
In his fourth season leading the Cougars, Chris McGown coached the team to a fifth-place overall conference finish after being picked to finish sixth in the league to start the season.
The season concluded after falling to No. 5 seed USC at the Galen Center, who BYU split with in regular conference play.
The Cougars were ranked as high as No. 4 in the regular season, starting the year with a 13-3 overall record. BYU remained in the top-10 of the AVCA Coaches’ Poll during the entire season, finishing in the No. 8 spot.
The Cougars went through several rotations in the 2015 season, but were helped significantly by sophomore outside hitter Jake Langlois, who amassed 246 (3.19 per set) kills to lead the team.
Additionally, opposite Matt Underwood contributed 212 (2.86 per set) kills for BYU. Michael Hatch led the blocking effort for the Cougars, collecting 125 (1.30 per set) to lead in that category. Hatch also had the highest hitting percentage on the team with a .427 clip.
Jaylen Reyes rounded out the defensive effort for BYU, collecting a team-high 224 digs. He added a career-high 18 digs against Stanford late in the season. His 762 career digs are second-most in BYU rally-scoring era history. Reyes was named AVCA All-America Honorable Mention to end his Cougar career.
Five BYU players made All-MPSF honors, with Langlois, Underwood and Hatch all making the second team. Additionally, Phil Fuchs picked up honorable mention accolades and Brenden Sander was added to the all-freshman squad.
Sander was the only Cougar to collect a weekly MPSF and AVCA honor during the season following his performance against No. 1 Hawai’i.
BYU started out the season falling to the defending national champions, Loyola-Chicago, before winning the following night against the 2015 national runner-ups Lewis.
The Cougars were swept for the only time of the season at UCSB before rattling off five-straight wins. Following a come-from-behind five set win by USC, BYU kept on the offensive prowess, winning its next five matches.
A six-match losing streak ensued which included tough road matches at Stanford and Pepperdine.
After 10-straight home match wins in 2015, BYU fell for the first time in the Smith Fieldhouse since Feb. 1, 2013, against UC Irvine. The 36-match win streak at home stands as a Cougar record.
Perhaps the highlight of the season, however, came in the final home series against then-No. 1 ranked Hawai’i. BYU won in four sets the first night before taking a five-set thriller the following evening to sweep the season series against the Warriors.
The Cougars lose three seniors going into next season – All-American Reyes, all-conference outside hitter Fuchs and Josue Rivera, who suffered injuries throughout most of the season. BYU will look forward in 2016 to the return of First Team All-American Ben Patch, who recently returned from his LDS mission.