Brigham Young University
May 04 | 07:00 PM
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University of California, Irvine
wweekes | Posted: 4 May 2013 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU ends season with loss in National Championship


LOS ANGELES – The No. 1-seed BYU men’s volleyball team ended its successful season with a tough 3-0 loss to No. 2-seed UC Irvine (25-23, 25-22, 26-24) in the NCAA National Championships Saturday at Pauley Pavilion.

“I told the boys in the locker room what wonderful season it's been,” head coach Chris McGown said. “It was a remarkable run by these guys. I'm so proud of our team for what they represent and the way they represent BYU and the way they carried themselves all season and battled.”

BYU finishes the season 26-5 while fellow Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponent UC Irvine ends at 25-7.

Junior Taylor Sander led both teams with 20 kills, four digs and three blocks. Three Anteaters recorded 11 kills apiece. UC Irvine recorded a .383 hitting percentage to BYU’s .274 clip. The Anteaters won the battle at the net, out-blocking BYU 17.0 – 6.0.

Sander and freshman Ben Patch were named to the all-tournament team.

"We were, as you can imagine, disappointed in the result,” McGown said. “I thought that UCI played inspired volleyball.”

The teams exchanged points to kick off the match until BYU took the first two-point advantage, 6-4, off a Cougar block. Sander widened the gap to three with a kill but a 5-2 Anteater run put them back on top at 15-14.

Kills from Sander and Patch tied the set at 18 and it would remain close until BYU went up 23-22. Back-to-back points by UC Irvine flipped the score in its favor as it went 24-23 for set point. The Anteaters finished the set off with a kill to go up 1-0 in the match.

BYU took a 6-3 lead in the second set following a Patch ace. A service ace from Josue Rivera gave the Cougars a four-point lead and sparked a 5-0 BYU run for the 11-4 advantage. The Anteaters, however, answered with a 5-0 run of their own to cut the lead to two before a kill by Patch ended the run.

UC Irvine marched on with a 5-1 run to take over the lead, 14-13. The Anteaters took a two-point lead 22-20 before a kill by Sander cut it back to one. A kill and attack error gave UC Irvine the 25-22 set win and a 2-0 match lead.

The Anteaters hit .429 and .448 in the first and second set, respectively.

Set three saw another close start before UC Irvine took the 12-10 lead. The Cougars went back on top 14-13 but the Anteaters quickly took the lead back with a pair of points. The contest tied at 16’s, 17’s and 18’s until a 3-0 BYU run, with a pair of Rivera kills, put the Cougars on top 22-19.

Sander kills pushed BYU closer to a win, 24-21, but the Anteaters rattled off a 4-0 run to set up match point at 25-24. UC Irvine recorded its 17th block of the match to win its second-straight National Championship.



BYU has reached the NCAA Final Four five times and gone on to win the National Championship three times (1999, 2001 and 2004).

The Cougars held the No. 1 national ranking this season for 11 of the 15 regular-season weeks, including the final seven. BYU was No. 2 in the preseason poll behind No. 1 UC Irvine.

Head coach Chris McGown was named the MPSF and AVCA Coach of the Year in just his second season at the helm.

BYU is now 8-2 all-time in the NCAA tournament, with its other loss coming to Lewis in the 2003 title match, which the NCAA later vacated.   

The Cougars won the 2013 MPSF regular season and tournament title. This year marked their fourth MPSF tournament championship (1999, 2003, 2004 and 2013).

Since winning the first MPSF title in 1999, BYU has captured more championships than any other team. The Cougars have five titles in that 15-year stretch.

Taylor Sander was named the MPSF Player of the Year and Ben Patch was named the MPSF Freshman of the Year. Patch also garnered AVCA National Newcomer of the Year.

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wweekes | Posted: 3 May 2013 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU in NCAA Championship match


LOS ANGELES – Playing in the NCAA title match for the first time since 2004, the No. 1 seed BYU men’s volleyball team challenges No. 2 seed UC Irvine for the National Championship on Saturday at 7 p.m. MDT at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. The NCAA title match will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

“We are excited to be playing in the national championship match," head coach Chris McGown said. "I felt like we had a nice effort last night and did a lot of things really well, as well as a few things we want to get better at. We’re excited to be playing a very good UC Irvine team and expect that this match will be one of those phenomenal match-ups.”

With BYU’s (26-4) 3-0 win over No. 4-seed Penn State, the Cougars improve to 8-1 all-time in the NCAA tournament, with their only loss coming to Lewis in the 2003 title match, which it later vacated.

UC Irvine (24-7) earned a spot in the final match after sweeping No. 3 seed Loyola-Chicago in the semifinals. The Anteaters earned the at-large bid after being knocked out of the MPSF tournament in the semifinals with a 3-2 loss to Long Beach State.

The Cougars’ semifinal win against Penn State gave Chris McGown his 50th win in just two seasons at the helm for BYU. Tom Peterson (2003-06) is the only BYU coach to record more wins in his first two seasons (52). McGown is the 2013 AVCA National Coach of the Year and MPSF Coach of the Year.

The two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) teams finished one and two in the conference, with BYU grabbing the top spot. The Cougars won the regular season title by three matches and earned their fourth MPSF tournament championship.

BYU took both regular season matchups against UC Irvine, with a 3-1 win in Provo on Jan. 18, and a 3-2 comeback victory in Irvine on March 1, where freshman Ben Patch recorded a BYU rally-scoring record and MPSF season-high 35 kills.

Both teams are 24-0 when winning the hitting percentage battle. UC Irvine is 20-0 when producing more kills than its opponent.

Junior outside hitter Taylor Sander and Patch garnered AVCA All-America First Team honors while senior middle blocker Russ Lavaja was named to the second team. Patch was also named the AVCA Newcomer of the Year.

The Anteaters placed three athletes on the All-America teams. Michael Brinkley and Kevin Tillie were named to the first team with Collin Mehring earning second team honors.

This is the Cougars’ fifth appearance in the NCAA Championship match. The Anteaters have won three national titles (’07, ’09, ’12) and look to become the first back-to-back champion since UCLA (1995-96).

Carl McGown, father of current BYU head coach Chris McGown, led BYU to its first National Championship in 1999. After 10 years at the helm, Carl McGown assembled one of the greatest collegiate volleyball teams ever, posting a record of 30-1 during the 1999 season. The Cougars avenged their lone loss of the season by defeating Long Beach State to capture the University’s first-ever volleyball National Championship title.

In 2001, Carl McGown led BYU to its second National Championship over UCLA. The Cougars served the Bruins just its seventh defeat, dating back to the 1990 season. BYU swept UCLA in Long Beach, Calif., to mark its 15th three-game sweep during the season.

The Cougars reached the National Championship match in 2003 but fell to Lewis, who later forfeited its championship after an investigation found the team played an ineligible athlete.

BYU’s most recent National Championship came in 2004 as Tom Peterson led the Cougars to a five-set victory over Long Beach State in Hawai’i. The Cougars defeated the 49ers four times during the year, with three of the wins going to five games.

If BYU wins on Saturday, Chris and Carl McGown would become the first father-son combination to coach the same school to an NCAA championship in the same sport.

In addition to being televised on ESPNU, the match is available online at Tickets can be purchased at

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