(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Kicking off the 2013 season, the No. 2 BYU men's volleyball team welcomes the University of Hawai'i to the Smith Fieldhouse for matches on Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. MST.
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The Cougars are ranked No. 2 in the AVCA preseason poll and return junior All-American Taylor Sander and two All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selections in senior Russ Lavaja and sophomore Josue Rivera. Rounding out the cast of returning starters is sophomore libero Jaylen Reyes.
Coming off a 24-win season last year and a second-place tie in the MPSF, the Cougars were selected second in the MPSF Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Warriors were chosen No. 12 after finishing 2012 with a 7-20 overall record.
The University of Hawai’i begins the season unranked in the preseason AVCA Top 15 poll for the first time in school history and will open on the road for the first time since 2007. Hawai'i returns three starters from last year's team which finished 7-20 and missed the MPSF playoffs for the first time under fourth-year head coach Charlie Wade. Among the returning starters are outside hitter JP Marks and middle blocker Nick West.
BYU leads the overall series 31-17 and has won 10 of the last 12 in the series. In Provo, the Cougars hold a commanding 18-3 advantage, which includes a current eight-match win streak. The Warriors have not won in Provo since splitting a two-match series in 2003.
Friday's match will be broadcast live on BYUtv.
Follow the team on Twitter @BYUvolleyball and Facebook.