BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead announced the 2019 men’s volleyball schedule on Friday as his team prepares for another season of national powerhouse competition.
“With the season right around the corner, it’s an exciting time of year,” Olmstead said. “Our schedule will allow us to continue to compete with some of the best teams from around the country. We feel it’s a great mix of road matches, as well as an exciting home slate.”
Nine opponents on BYU’s 2019 schedule finished the 2018 season ranked in the top 15 of the final AVCA Coaches’ Poll, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Hawai’i, No. 6 UC Irvine, No. 8 Pepperdine, No. 11 Ball State, No. 12 UCSB, No. 13 Concordia-Irvine and No. 14 Grand Canyon.
The Cougars finished last season ranked No. 3 in the final poll after advancing to the national semifinals for the third-consecutive year. The Cougars fell to UCLA in the semifinals last year after advancing to finish as the NCAA runner-up the prior two seasons. Olmstead is optimistic about the opportunities the schedule will provide his team in 2019.
“At the end of last year we lost some key players and outstanding leaders who had been fixtures for our program over the last few years,” Olmstead said. “We’ve emphasized the opportunity that presents for some of our young guys to step into that role and contribute.”
BYU will host 13 matches at the Smith Fieldhouse and play 10 contests on the road during its 23-match schedule in 2019.
As a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the Cougars will face a strong league slate of MPSF opponents in UCLA, Pepperdine, Concordia, Grand Canyon, Stanford and USC. In non-conference matches, the Cougars also boast a strong group of opponents in Ohio State, Ball State, UCSB, UC Irvine, Hawai’i, St. Francis, McKendree and Princeton.
BYU begins the season at home, hosting Ohio State on Jan. 10 and Ball State on Jan. 12, before embarking on an early season, six-match road swing.
The Cougars begin road play in Pennsylvania with matches at Penn State on Jan. 18 and Saint Francis on Jan. 19. Following a bye week, Olmstead’s team travels to California for back-to-back weekends starting with two matches at UCSB in Santa Barbara on Feb. 1-2. BYU begins its MPSF schedule at Pepperdine in Malibu on Feb. 6, followed by UCLA in Los Angeles on Feb. 9.
BYU hosts Concordia in the Smith Fieldhouse to open its home MPSF slate on Feb. 14, before USC comes to Provo on Feb. 16 and Grand Canyon follows on Feb. 23.
The Cougars and Stanford split a home-and-home week that begins in Provo on Feb. 28, before both teams travel to Stanford for a rematch two days later on March 2.
BYU then returns to Provo to complete a stretch of 11 home matches in a six-week period with the match at Stanford being the lone road contest in that span.
UC Irvine comes to Provo for two non-conference contests on March 8-9, followed by UCLA in a rematch of last year’s national semifinals on March 14 and then Pepperdine on March 16.1 comment on this story
The Cougars host the BYU Invite the following week when Princeton, McKendree and Hawai’i join BYU in a three-day slate of matches March 21-23, in the Smith Fieldhouse. The event will feature two matches for fans to see each day with the Cougars scheduled to face Princeton on March 21, McKendree on March 22 and Hawai’i in the finale on March 23.
BYU finishes the regular season on the road to conclude its MPSF schedule at Concordia in Irvine, California, on March 28, followed by USC in Los Angeles on March 30 and Grand Canyon in Phoenix on April 4.
The MPSF Tournament will be played on April 13, 18 and 20, at campus host sites yet to be determined.
View the complete 2019 men’s volleyball schedule on the men's schedule page.