- BYU improved to 7-1 in NCAA Tournament action, the only loss coming in the 2003 championship game against Lewis
- The Cougars avenged their 2003 championship loss with a 3-0 semifinal win over Lewis
- Three of the Cougars’ four wins over the 49ers went to five games, with the other going to four
- Despite being outplayed in practically every statistical category, BYU was able to overcome Long Beach in five games to claim the championship
- The championship match marked the eighth time the Cougars came back to win despite losing the first game of the match
Numerous come-from-behind victories, a 21-match winning streak, four All-Americans and the first AVCA National Player of the Year in Cougar men’s volleyball history were just some of the highlights of an amazing championship season. BYU defeated Long Beach State in the most intense championship matches in BYU men’s voleyball history May 8, 2004, at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The Cougars (29-4) defeated their MPSF rivals the 49ers (28-7) for the fourth time of the 2004 season in five games, 15-30, 30-18, 20-30, 32-30, 19-17.
“I don’t know how many matches we were down this season, but it was a big number. Maybe it’s because we’ve been there before, maybe it’s a team of destiny. But, it sure didn’t show up in the stats -- what these guys have inside. It’s all about heart and playing as a team. That’s exactly how we won.
“It was one of the greastest highlights of my BYU career, which includes being a head coach, an assistant coach and a player.
“I don’t know how many people realize how hard it is to win a championship. To even win in our league is an amazing accomplishment, a huge deal. To actually win the championship is one of the best things that has happened in my professional career.”
- 2004 BYU Head Coach, Tom Peterson
- The victory marked only the seventh defeat of the Bruins, dating back to the 1990 season
- BYU is undefeated in NCAA Championship Tournament action, posting a perfect 4-0 record
- The 3-0 win over UCLA marked the 15th three-game sweep for the Cougars during the season
A total of seven weeks at No. 1, 23 victories, an MPSF regular-season championship title and four All-Americans later, the dream finally became a reality on May 5, 2001, at The Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. The second-ranked Cougars knocked off 18-time National Champion and top-ranked UCLA to claim their second NCAA National Championship in three seasons. The Cougars (23-4) outdueled the Bruins (24-8) for the second time in 2001, this time in just three games, 30-26, 30-26, 32-30.
“Before the season started, I said I thought this team could win a National Championship,” BYU head coach Carl McGown said. “It has been a long season and we’ve done some great things, but this is the greatest. I can’t tell you how proud I am of these guys for setting a goal early on, working hard, sticking to it and winning their second National Championship. I couldn’t be happier for these guys. It was great to win the championship in 1999 when we should have won it, but it’s an even better feeling to win it when the odds weren’t so much in our favor, and to win it against the best of the best--it’s such a great feeling.”
It took Carl McGown just 10 years to assemble one of the greatest collegiate volleyball teams ever, posting a record of 30-1 in 1999. The Cougars were able to avenge their only loss of the season by defeating Long Beach State to capture the University’s first-ever volleyball National Championship title.
Among the highlights of the the 1999 season were an 18-match win streak to begin the season and a shut out of storied champion UCLA, 15-0, in one game. BYU won its first MPSF title and advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the first time.
The team had two first-team All-Americans in Ryan Millar and Ossie Antonetti and one second-team All-American in setter Hector Lebron.