The BYU Tournament drew to a close Saturday night as the Cougars pulled out a 3-1 win over Utah Valley in BYU.
After dropping the first set to UVU, BYU rebounded to win three consecutive for the 3-1 victory.
"UVU is a good, solid team," said BYU head coach Shawn Patchell. "They are one of the top club teams in the nation and played us very well in the first set. We made improvements and adjustments to respond and win in four."
The Cougars never trailed in the second set once scoring the first two points off kills from Robb Stowell and Russell Lavaja. While the Wolverines came within one at 9-8, BYU put up several strong blocks to stay ahead. The serving game also proved beneficial for the Cougars who racked up three service aces by Reed Chilton, Lavaja and Erik Mayer. A costly UVU service error gave BYU the 28-18 advantage, while back-to-back attack errors clinched the Cougar win to tie the match one-set-all.
BYU jumped out to a 7-2 lead to begin the third set, and maintained a comfortable advantage as the Wolverines failed to get within closer than two points. Lavaja served up his second ace of the night at 22-16, while a collection of hitters recorded kills in the 30-26 win.
Sophomore middle blocker Otavio Souza threw down the set-winning point.
The final set started much like the previous two as BYU gained an early and lasting lead. Sophomore middle blocker Quentin Smith joined in on the ace trend, recording one in the early minutes of the set.
With UVU threatening to make a run, the Cougars pulled out a long rally point after a Stowell kill to give them the 16-13 advantage.
Subbing in midway through the set, opposite Kent Tuttle made his presence known immediately, knocking down four kills, including two consecutive to win the match.
The first match of the day pitted the Cougars against Arizona. With a split squad, BYU swept the Wildcats in three sets, 30-22, 30-19, 30-24. Leading the Cougars was Tuttle, who recorded a total of 15 kills with a .625 hitting percentage. Smith led BYU with five blocks, closely followed by Tuttle's four.
Victory VBC continued its winning ways with a three-set sweep over UVU in the noon match. Playing to 25 points per set, the Cougar alumni pulled out a 27-25, 25-20, 29-27 win.
With its undefeated record, Victory was named tournament champion at the conclusion of the final match. Representing Victory on the all- tournament team was opposite Joe Hillman and setter Rob Neilson.
Neilson was also honored as the tournament's Most Valuable Player, marking the first year the award has not gone to a current BYU player.
"This was a weekend to improve," said Patchell. "We were disappointed not to win the tournament, but if we had to pick one team besides ourselves to win, it would have been the alumni. They were an excellent team and showed us a thing or two with their experience."
Joining Hillman and Neilson on the all-tournament team was Arizona's libero Sean Carter, UVU's opposite David Evans and BYU's two seniors, outside hitter Andrew Stewart and setter Chilton.
With the preseason drawn to a close, BYU will turn its attention to the 2010 season, which kicks off at the UC Santa Barbara Elephant Bar Tournament on Jan. 8-9.