Five athletes and two coaches with BYU ties will participate
Brigham Young University will be well represented at the 2021 Olympic Games when they kickoff this weekend in Tokyo, Japan.
From swimming to volleyball to rugby, five athletes with BYU ties will compete and two coaches with BYU ties will be on the sidelines in this pandemic-delayed version of the Olympiad. Here’s more on the lineup:
Taylor Sander | Men’s Volleyball | USA
Sander was the AVCA Player of the Year, a two-time MPSF Player of the Year and a three-time AVCA First Team All-American while at BYU from 2011-2014. He holds BYU records for career kills and career service aces. This is his second time competing at the Olympics with USA Volleyball. The outside hitter is also the older brother of fellow Olympian and teammate Brenden Sander (see below).
Jordan Matyas | Women’s Rugby | USA
Matyas played for the BYU Women’s Rugby team from 2012-2016. She was a USA Rugby Collegiate All American each of those years. Matyas helped the Cougars advance to their first-ever national championship and earned First Team All-America honors in 2016. The BYU Women's rugby team is sanctioned under Extramural Sports and competes under USA Rugby Union and Collegiate Rugby Association of America.
She first made an appearance for a U.S. National Team in 2012, playing for the U20 squad, and has since competed in both the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup and the 2018 Women’s Sevens Rugby World Cup. This is the first Olympics for Matyas, whose sister Alexa Gray was also an All American at BYU in volleyball.
Josue Dominguez | Men's Swimming | Dominican Republic
Dominguez, a current BYU student athlete and the 2021 MPSF Men’s Swimmer of the Year, holds three BYU records — the 100M Breaststroke, the 200M Breaststroke and the 400 Medley Relay — and eight Dominican Republic records. Josue competed in the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China and this is his first opportunity to compete at the official Olympic Games.
Brendan Sander | Men’s Volleyball | USA
Sander was a two-time AVCA First Team All-American and two-time MPSF First Team All-American while at BYU and a key contributor during two of the Cougars’ national championship appearances in 2016 and 2017. He is an alternate on the 2021 Olympic Team. His older brother, Taylor, will also compete for the USA Men's Olympic Volleyball team in Tokyo.
Ben Patch | Men’s Volleyball | USA
Patch was the MPSF Freshman of the Year in 2013 and earned two AVCA First Team All-America honors at BYU. He holds the BYU record for kills in a single match with 35 and has been a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team since 2015 and is an alternate for the USA Men's Olympic Team for Tokyo 2021.
Mike Wall – U.S. Men’s Volleyball Assistant Coach
Wall played on BYU’s National Title teams in 1999 and 2001 and was the 2001 NCAA Final Four MVP. This will be his second Olympics as an Assistant Coach with USA Volleyball.
Luka Slabe – U.S. Women’s Volleyball Assistant Coach
As a player, Slabe helped lead the Cougars to a national championship in 2001 and went 75-16 as a BYU assistant coach from 2015-2018. He has been the top assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s team since 2018.