Talk about the ultimate in playing under the radar.
BYU's men's volleyball team is a perennial national power, and currently in the midst of one of its greatest seasons.
The Cougars are 25-4 on the season, have three AVCA All-Americans on their squad and boast the national newcomer of the year in Ben Patch.
They have won their last two matches 3-2 in comeback fashion, and will play tonight for the MPSF championship on their home court.
And very few know about.
Don't misunderstand me. In volleyball circles, the Cougars are well known. They have an absolutely rabid fan base, as evidenced by the 3,382 fans who packed the Smith Fieldhouse to watch BYU defeat UCLA 23-25, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24, 15-10 on Thursday.
BYU lost the first two sets.
The Cougars will now play Long Beach State for the championship and a spot in the final four of the NCAA tournament.
"It was a phenomenal match," BYU coach Chris McGown said. "Both teams played really well and at a really high level. We were mystified the first two sets on how to defend UCLA. I thought UCLA was as good as I've seen a volleyball team play for those first two sets. I credit our guys with having the composure to come back with a lot of pressure."
The Cougars had three players record double-digit kills against the Bruins, led by Josue Rivera with 19. Patch and Taylor Sander contributed 17 and 12, respectively.
Patch and Sander are All-Americans. Russ Lavaja is a second-teamer.
With few high school boys volleyball teams and no national TV exposure -- and of course, you can blame the media as well -- the "road to the final four" is an obscure one for the Cougars.
One wonders what Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham thinks as he looks over the Rice-Eccles Stadium floor this morning.
The football field is covered by 6,500 tons of dirt brought in for tonight's Monster Energy AMA Supercross event. It took a crew 80 hours to set the course up, and will take a full 24 hours to tear it down.
More than 80 motocross competitors will battle through the day for the AMA points and event title. Practice and qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m. The finals are set for 7 p.m.
And if coach Kyle is smart, he'll go on a recruiting trip.
The wheels on the bike ...
The Utah High School Cycling League will host its annual fundraising dinner -- Cyclefest -- on May 11 on the University of Utah campus. The event will feature guest Ned Overend, a BMX legend. The prep league begins in September.
Cyclefest raises money to support the league's operation and provide scholarships and equipment for young riders across the state.
For ticket information, visit www.utahmtb.org.
We note the passing of Snowbasin and Sun Valley Ski Resort owner Earl Holding, who died on April 18 at age 86. ...
The Utah Open will move to Riverside Country Club in Provo in 2014. Local golf fans should make plans now to attend this year's tournament, set for Aug. 23-25 at Oakridge Country Club. Oakridge has hosted the Siegfried and Jensen Utah Open for seven years. ...
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will included 18 hours of TV programming during its Aug. 6-11 run. Most of the coverage will be on ROOT through the Fox Sports Network. ...
The Utah Figure Skating Club has been around for 60 years. They'll present "Fairy Tales on Ice" on May 10-11 at the South Davis Recreation Center. The annual spring ice shows gives a more theatrical view of the sport. Olympic bronze medalist Jozef Sabovcik and Rachel White and Kristina Struthwolf will be in the key roles. ...
Dixie State University announced the hiring of Catherria Turner as the Red Storm's new head women's basketball coach. ...
Looking ahead, the 2013 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships are set for May 3-5 in the Ogden area. Stay tuned for details. ...
Real Salt Lake announced this week that the Salt Lake United Soccer Club will become Real Salt Lake Women SC and play in the Women's Premier Soccer League. ...
World champions Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin were named by the U.S. Olympic Committee as athletes of the month for March.
Chris J. Miller is sports editor for the Standard-Examiner. He can be reached at 801-625-4261 or email@example.com