2010 All-American Andrew Stewart will be back on the court to help represent the Alumni team in Friday's annual Alumni Match. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Cougar fans will have their first chance to preview the 2010-11 BYU men’s volleyball team when it hosts the annual Alumni Match at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday. Admission to the match is free.
“We have a good team coming and they will bring us great competition,” BYU interim head coach Rob Neilson said.
The alumni team will consist of 10 former Cougars, including 2009 starting setter Reed Chilton (’09) and 2009 All-American outside hitter Andrew Stewart (’09). Joining him will be middle blockers Michael Burke (’05) and Cory Carpenter (’04). BYU women’s assistant coach Shawn Olmstead will play libero. Other alumni include Taylor Evans (’06), Mac Wilson (’01), Brian Congelliere (’08), and Casey Patterson (’05) who has played professionally. Four former Cougars were members of National Championship winning teams in 1999, 2001 or 2004.
While the Alumni team has always been very competitive in years past, last year was the first time that the alumni won the match.
The current BYU team returns eight players with starting experience, including All-American middle blocker Futi Tavana, and All-MPSF selections Robb Stowell and Russell Lavaja.
Libero BJ Hiapo, outside hitter Jeff Robinson, outside hitter Kevin Sagers and middle blocker Otavio Souza represent the senior talent.
Twelve of the 20 current roster members return from 2010. Fans will also have a chance to see true freshman Taylor Sander who BYU interim head coach Rob Neilson describes as comparable to BYU Hall-of-Famer Ossie Antonetti.
Friday will warm up the Cougars for the BYU Las Vegas Tournament held at Las Vegas High School Nov. 12-13. In the tournament, BYU will take on Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon University, Lewis, Long Beach State, and UC San Diego.