UC Irvine became the first men's volleyball team since 1995-96 to capture back-to-back NCAA Division I championships with a 25-23, 25-22, 26-24 victory Saturday night over BYU at Pauley Pavilion.

The Anteaters (25-7), who won the title last year by defeating USC at Galen Center, improved to 4-0 all-time in NCAA finals.

UC Irvine was guided last season by John Speraw, who left the team following the championship run to take over UCLA's program and later the U.S. men's national team.

David Kniffin became only the second coach in the 44-year history of the NCAA men's volleyball championships to win a title in his first season. Rod Wilde was the other at Pepperdine in 1986, following Marv Dunphy, who took a leave of absence after the Waves' 1985 title run to coach the U.S.

Olympic team.

BYU (26-5), seeking its first title since 2004, was swept only twice this season, both times at Pauley Pavilion, the other April 6 against UCLA.

Connor Hughes, the tournament's most outstanding player, led three UC Irvine athletes with 11 kills. Scott Kevorken, a Westlake graduate, had seven kills and 12 blocks for the Anteaters.

Taylor Sander led BYU with 20 kills.