Preseason tournaments hosted by BYU have been a tradition since 1977. With the exception of two years (1993 and 1999), the Cougars have hosted at least one tournament each year. It is one of college volleyball’s longest running traditions, and although the name of the marquee tournament has evolved over the years from the BYU Preview to the BYU Invitational to the BYU Mizuno Classic to the BYU Molten Classic to the current BYU Nike Classic, the premise has always been the same – to gather top teams from around the country for intense competition.
In 1977 the inaugural BYU Preview featured 16 teams (BYU, BYU-JV, California, Colorado State, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Northern Colorado, Portland State,Texas, Texas-Arlington, Texas Tech, Utah, Utah State, Weber State and Wyoming). The field grew to as many as 24 teams in 1984, but in recent years BYU has hosted anywhere from two to four teams.
Although the premise of staging the 1977 BYU Preview was for modest short-term gain, BYU has now hosted 36 tournaments in 30 years, winning 21 titles along the way. An excerpt directly from the 1984 BYU Preview program explains the simple beginnings:
“BYU coach Elaine Michaelis conducted her first volleyball invitational in 1977 to give her team, visiting teams and local fans a chance to preview some of the schools expected to play in the AIAW national championships that BYU was to host later that season. Her idea was that preseason competition among gifted teams would allow coaches and players to identify their flaws, exhibit their strengths and measure themselves against others as they began the march toward nationals. The response was so enthusiastic that her idea turned into a tradition.”
There have been many Cougar highlights, but one of the top moments in BYU tournament history was when BYU upended No. 1 Stanford before defeating No. 2 Long Beach State to take the 2000 tournament title. The Cougars also defeated No. 4 Stanford on the way to winning the 2006 crown and No. 10 Wisconsin while taking the 2007 title.MVP
|1982||Valerie de Pourtales|
|1981||Lisa Motes Connolly|
|2007, 06, 04||Erica Lott|
|1988||Cherie Sam Fong||Beehive|
|1984, HM||Tami Hamilton|
|Long Beach State||2-2|
|New Mexico State||2-0|
|SW Missouri State||2-0|
|Texas A&M CC||1-0|