The conference schedule was only half played due to the COVID-19 virus crisis, but the domination by the BYU men’s volleyball team was complete.
The Cougars — 6-0 in MPSF matches this season — picked up eight all-conference selections, which were announced on Thursday.
Junior opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez was named the MPSF Player of the Year and Shawn Olmstead earned Coach of the Year honors.
Garcia Fernandez, sophomore outside hitter Davide Gardini, junior middle blocker Felipe de Brito Ferreira and senior setter Wil Stanley were chosen for the All-MPSF first team. Senior outside hitter Zach Eschenberg was named to the second team and senior middle blocker Miki Jauhaianen made the honorable mention list.
Garcia Fernandez led the nation in points per set (5.46) and total service aces with an all-time BYU single season record of 56. He was one of three players in the MPSF to average four kills per set, while hitting .343. He also finished sixth in the conference in blocks per set (1.00) and 11th in dig average (1.52).
Fernandez served eight aces in two three-set matches this year, the most in the MPSF in six years. His second eight-ace match was at No. 1 Hawaii as the Cougars snapped the Warriors’ 25-match home win streak. Fernandez, a three-time first team all-conference selection, represents BYU’s fifth MPSF Player of the Year (Fernandez-2020; Taylor Sander-2013 & ’14; Carlos Moreno-2004; Ryan Millar-1997).
Olmstead guided the Cougars to a 17-1 season and the No. 1 national ranking. BYU had 12 wins over ranked opponents, while leading the NCAA in blocking (2.95 blocks per set) and the MPSF in hitting (.358) and opponent hitting (.231).
The Cougars were ranked second in the AVCA national poll for the majority of the season, until they went in to No. 1 Hawaii on March 5 for an undefeated showdown with the Warriors and earned a sweep. This is Olmstead’s third MPSF Coach of the Year honor in his five years at the helm of the program. He represents BYU’s seventh all-time coach of the year award (Olmstead-2020, 2018, 2016; Chris McGown-2013; Tom Peterson-2003; Carl McGown-2001 & 1999).