Cougars earn top seed in NCAA tournament

(Photo by BYU Photo/Jonathan Hardy)

PROVO, Utah – The NCAA men’s volleyball selection committee announced BYU will enter the 2013 National Championship tournament as the No. 1 seed after winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season title and tournament championship.

The Cougars’ 3-0 win over Long Beach State in the MPSF championship Saturday gave them the league’s automatic bid. This is BYU’s first NCAA tournament appearance since winning the National Championship in 2004 and fifth total. The Cougars are 7-1 all-time in the tournament.

The Cougars (25-4) will take on take on No. 4 seed Penn State (23-7) in semifinal on Thursday, May 2, at 9 p.m. MDT at the Pauley Pavilion on UCLA’s campus in Los Angeles.

The Nittany Lions earned an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament after winning their 15th-straight EIVA Championship title. BYU owns the series record with a 10-6 advantage. The teams last met in 2012 when the Cougars captured both matches, 3-1 and 3-0, in Provo.

The other semifinal contest will feature No. 2 seed UC Irvine (23-7), who received the at-large bid, against No. 3 seed Loyola Chicago (22-9), the winner of the MIVA tournament.

BYU's match against Penn State will be broadcast on NCAA.com. The National Championship match will be televised live on ESPNU beginning at 7 p.m. MDT on Saturday, May 4. Tickets can be purhcased at UCLAbruins.com.

Notes

Since its inaugural volleyball season in 1993, the winner of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) men’s volleyball tournament has gone on to capture the NCAA Championship in 13 of the 20 years.

BYU has won four MPSF volleyball tournament championships (1999, 2003, 2004, 2013). Three times the Cougars have gone on to win the NCAA National Championship (1999, 2001, 2004). BYU was the at-large bid in 2001 after winning the regular season title.

In 2003 the Cougars won the MPSF tournament but lost in the NCAA title game to Lewis, who later forfeited its 2003 NCAA men's volleyball championship after an investigation found the team played an ineligible athlete.

Since winning its first MPSF title in 1999, BYU has captured more championships than any other team. The Cougars have five titles in that 15-year stretch. Pepperdine is second with three championships, while UCLA and UC Irvine have each won two titles.

Since its inaugural season (1993), MPSF schools have won 16 of the 20 NCAA Volleyball Championships.