BYU men’s volleyball off to promising start in season with high expectations

BYU men’s volleyball opened the season on Jan. 5-6 in the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars hosted no. 11 Ball State. Both matches ended with BYU victorious in three sets. 

On Jan. 11, the Cougars won another match at 10th-ranked Loyola Chicago. BYU lost the first set before winning the second. Another tough set brought Loyola Chicago one set away from winning the match. However, the Cougars proved resilient winning the final two sets. 

In another tough five-set match, BYU would lose to no. 15 Lewis University. Despite the loss, BYU has remained the 9th ranked team in the AVA Men’s Collegiate National Poll.

On Friday, Jan. 19, the Cougars began a stretch of six matches in nine days. BYU won the first match 3-1 against no. 15 UC Santa Barbara. The second match is set for Jan. 10, before they return to Provo to play no. 16 Princeton in a two-match series. The series with Princeton will be at Smith Fieldhouse on Jan. 22-23. 

January 25th and 26th, the Cougars will remain at home against no. 6 UC Irvine.

The most exciting matchup for BYU this season is when defending national champions and current no. 1 ranked UCLA Bruins come to Smith Fieldhouse for two matches Feb. 23-24. The Cougars were swept in two matches last season at UCLA. At home last season, BYU went 14-0 and will be looking to get revenge and make a statement defending home court. 

BYU’s season consists of 11 of their 13 opponents ranked in the preseason rankings. The season concludes on Apr. 6th at USC. The MPSF tournament will then be held Apr. 17-20. 

Led by head coach Shawn Olmstead, the Cougars begin 2024 with high expectations. Olmstead achieved his 150th career win as BYU’s head coach. Olmstead also has the second-highest winning percentage among all active Division I head coaches in men’s volleyball. He has led the Cougars to three national championship matches since being named head coach in 2016. He looks to lead the championship-poised Cougars over the hump and win BYU’s first title since 2004.

Head coach Shawn Olmstead watches him team. (Decker Westenburg)
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