OREM -- In preseason exhibition action, the defending NCAA Champion BYU men's volleyball team, swept defending NIRSA champion UVSC 4-0 (30-27, 30-28, 30-28, 30-25), Saturday at the UVSC Student Activity Center in Orem.
While BYU used several new players in its starting lineup, UVSC returns all but one starter from its championship season.
"We really wanted to play this match," said BYU head coach Carl McGown. "We thought they were really good."
As might be expected of an early January match, though, the play on both sides featured numerous missed serves, miscommunications and various other unforced errors.
"It's still January, and they didn't play very well," McGown said. "Clearly they can play a lot better, but we can also play a lot better."
The Wolverines came out as a determined team, and continuously traded points with the Cougars. After BYU shook off some of its preseason rust, it displayed an unrelenting attack. After taking the lead at 19-18, the Cougars never looked back, and took the first game.
In the second game, BYU's lead stretched to 26-18, but UVSC fought back to tie the game at 28. Then BYU junior outside hitter Jaime Mayol stole the show in the next rally, as he made two consecutive pancake digs to push the Cougars to game point.
Game three was again closely contested, but BYU continued to capitalize on UVSC errors to narrowly take the game.
Even though the Cougars won the first three games, a fourth game was played, and it was apparent that the Wolverines were a tired team, as BYU handily took the last game.
BYU senior outside hitter Mike Wall, the 2001 NCAA Tournament MVP, was an offensive threat all night with strong serving and powerful attacking. Wall had match-high's with 18 kills and three service aces. Sophomore middle blocker Chris Gorny had 11 kills to aid the tough BYU attack.
UVSC sophomore outside hitter Justin Hutchins led the Wolverines with 10 kills. Senior right-side hitter Joseph Hillman contributed eight kills to go with numerous big blocks.
On Friday night, BYU played an intra-squad blue and white match before a large crowd at the Smith Fieldhouse. McGown was not pleased with his team's effort on Friday night, but tonight was a different story.
"We played hard tonight, and last night we didn't play very hard," McGown said. "We really seemed to care about winning tonight."
BYU will next see action as it opens its regular-season schedule with matches against nationally-ranked Stanford on Friday and Saturday nights. Both league matches will be played in the Smith Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. (MDT). A special pre-match ceremony, which will include the unveiling of the Cougars' 2001 NCAA National Championship banner, will be held prior to the contest