BYU Women’s Volleyball dominated for decades before some down years, but now the Cougars are back as a national power. Gymnastics and Men’s Golf could soon follow suit.
BYU Women’s Volleyball has a strong tradition, stronger than most casual fans know.
Sure, everyone paid attention to their 2018 season, as they spent most of it atop the national polls and made a Final Four run. In fact, the team has been a national contender for the past seven seasons. They competed in the National Championship Game in 2014, losing to Penn State for the title, and they’ve now been to seven straight Sweet Sixteens.
But BYU’s dominance in women’s volleyball is nothing new. They went through a rough patch in the late 2000’s, but the Elaine Michaelis era was pretty spectacular.
Michaelis coached BYU Women’s Volleyball from 1969 to 2001, and can make a case as the best coach of any Cougar team.
Yes, even better than LaVell.
During her coaching tenure, the Cougars were a national powerhouse. The sport didn’t have an NCAA Tournament until 1981, instead hosting the DGWS Tournament in the 60’s and the AIAW Tournament in the 70’s. For all intents and purposes, though, they were the same thing.
The Cougars made the postseason tournament 30 times in Michaelis’ 33 years at the helm. They reached the Sweet Sixteen 16 times, the Elite Eight 10 times, the Final Four three times, and the Championship Game once (1972).
BYU Women’s Volleyball isn’t a new national powerhouse. They’re a traditional powerhouse that has regained their dominance and put themselves back on the map.
There are two other Cougar teams have started to do the exact same thing. While neither has quite the historical pedigree of the volleyball team, they’ve both had strong success in the past, and that success seems to be resurfacing.
Let’s take a look at both.