BYU got back to its winning ways in the postseason as the Cougars won their first postseason match since 2004. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- A postseason victory, a No. 1 ranking for several weeks and 16 victories in straight sets highlighted a transitional season for BYU men's volleyball.
Co-interim head coaches Shawn Patchell and Ryan Millar led the fourth-ranked Cougars (23-6, 18-4 MPSF) to their first postseason match since winning a National Championship with a three-set sweep over Cal-State Northridge. BYU also enjoyed two weeks atop both national polls and was never ranked below fourth throughout the season.
In a roller-coaster season, the Cougars got off to a dominating start, winning their first nine matches--eight in straight sets. BYU earned its first No. 1 ranking in a calendar year. The Cougars then met mid-year resistance, losing four in a row to a pair of second-ranked teams.
After the two-week slide, BYU got back to its winning ways in a big way: winning 14 of its next 15 matches to close the regular season and climb back to second in the national polls by season's end.
The Cougars carried the momentum from their strong finish over to the MPSF Tournament, picking up their tournament victory over CSUN. BYU had been bounced from the MPSF Tournament in the quarterfinals in the previous two seasons. After sweeping the Matadors in the quarterfinals, the Cougars fell in a five-set thriller to eventual MPSF and National Champion UC Irvine in the MPSF Semifinals.
The future is bright for BYU, as the Cougars will return three All-Americans and the National Newcomer of the Year from this year's squad to next season's team.