(Photo by BYU Photo/Jonathan Hardy)
PROVO, Utah—BYU men’s volleyball tied for first place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation preseason coaches’ poll with Long Beach State, the conference announced Thursday.
The Cougars, the 2013 MPSF champions, and 49ers each received 126 points and three first-place votes apiece. BYU went 26-5 overall and 21-3 in league play in 2013, while Long Beach State went 24-8 overall and 18-6 in conference. BYU defeated Long Beach State in the MPSF championship match in April.
UC Irvine, who defeated the Cougars in the 2013 NCAA championship match, placed third with 125 points, though the Anteaters received six first-place votes.
The Cougars return senior All-American Taylor Sander, who averaged 3.94 kills per set on .333 hitting and 1.52 digs per set in 2013. He led the team with 42 service aces. He earned AVCA and Volleyball Magazine first-team All-America, as well as MPSF Player of the Year, All-MPSF First Team and All-MPSF Tournament Team.
BYU will host Winnipeg in two exhibition matches Dec. 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. MST before the team’s season opener on the road at Loyola Jan. 3, 2014. The Cougars begin conference play Jan. 10 in their season opener against Cal State Northridge, who ranked No.10 in the coaches’ poll.