Cougars Attempt New NCAA Record

Senior outside hitter Jaime Mayol was on the 1999 team that broke the attendance record in the Marriott Center. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- On Friday, Feb. 21, 2003, the BYU men's volleyball team will attempt to re-break the NCAA single-match attendance record against longtime rival Hawaii, the top-ranked team in the nation.

The record attendance of 14,156 was set Feb. 19, 1999 in the Marriott Center, when BYU played Hawaii, who was the current record holder, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest. The Cougars beat the Warriors 3-1 that night, and went on to win their first National Championship.

Senior outside hitter Jaime Mayol was a redshirt for the Cougars in 1999 and remembers well the night they broke the record.

"Just sitting in the stands, I got goose bumps from all the people cheering in the stands," Mayol said. "I was sitting there just sweating from all the screaming and all the people there. I wasn't even on the court, and I was excited."

The largest crowd the Cougars have drawn at home since 1999 was 6,119 in a 2001 match with perennial powerhouse UCLA in the Smith Fieldhouse. However, the men's volleyball team has not played in the Marriott Center since 1999, and another chance to play in the 22,700-capacity arena looks promising.

To encourage fan support, vouchers for $1 general admission to the match will be available at all Utah County Hogi Yogi and Brent Brown locations. Fans will also have the opportunity to sign up to play in the 3-on-3 Challenge, which will pit teams of three fans against three players from the BYU team. Ten teams of three will be selected to play between games two and three of the match. Sign-up sheets will be available at Hogi Yogi locations and at a special booth in the Wilkinson Student Center the week of the match.

In connection with BYU's The Daily Universe, students will also have the opportunity to obtain a bullseye printed in the Sportzone section on Tuesday and display it in their car or home windows for a chance to win two of ten special courtside seats to Friday's match.

"You better not miss out," Mayol said as an encouragement to fans. "It will be sweet. Just come and have fun."

Besides the special admission discount and an exciting match between two top-ranked volleyball teams, fans in attendance Friday night will have the opportunity to win prizes from Hogi Yogi, participate in a bungee challenge and be part of history as the Cougars attempt to re-break the national attendance record.

Friday's match will begin at 7 p.m. (MST) in the Marriott Center in Provo. Reserved-seating tickets can be purchased in advance from the Marriott Center Ticket Office, or by calling 801-378-BYU1.