BYU Athletics Blog

New LED video displays added in Smith Fieldhouse

Aug 26, 2014 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 11:07 am | Permalink

In preparation for the upcoming 2014 women’s volleyball season, BYU has installed three new LED video displays around Elaine Michaelis Court at the Smith Fieldhouse.

The main scoreboard at center court has been replaced with a 9 feet by 16 feet, 6 mm LED display. Two new 3 feet by 12 feet, 10 mm displays have been added to the baselines. BYU partnered with YESCO Electronics, a digital signage solutions company out of Salt Lake City, on the production and installation of the new displays.

“We are thrilled to have these new video boards in the Smith Fieldhouse and are very grateful to the generous donors who helped make this possible,” BYU Assistant Athletic Director, Facilities and Events Manager Matt Nix said. “The Smith Fieldhouse is already one of the great volleyball venues in the country and these displays will just enhance the volleyball experience for our fans. In addition to live video and replays, we will also be able to display statistics and other information for all of the fans to see throughout the match. We are excited for this new addition to the already fantastic volleyball experience at BYU.”

In addition to use at men’s and women’s volleyball matches and gymnastic meets, the displays will also be available for use at all other non-athletic meetings and events hosted in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Final game and a little sightseeing

Aug 25, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 6:47 pm | Updated: August 25, 2014 7:11 pm | Permalink

(Monday, Aug. 25, 2014)

Barcelona, Spain

Blog #10

This is the team's final day in Spain. On the day's schedule was some final sightseeing and shopping in Barcelona, and then it was off to the team's final game vs. Femeni Sant Adria (FSA).

Today's blogs are from Hannah Packard who has the information on the activities for the day. Then, Alohi Robins-Hardy will have the game summary from a player's perspective.

What did you do and see today?
Today we woke up and went to the beach for a couple of hours. We went swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, got a couple of volleyball games in and some paddle ball games too. It was lots of fun.

What's your favorite place in Barcelona and what do you like most?
I think my favorite thing in Barcelona was going to the Gaudi cathedral yesterday. It was incredible! All the pictures I took don't even do it justice in showing how big it is. I really like Barcelona. There is a completely different feel here compared to the other cities we have visited.

Are you ready to go home, or would you like to stay for a few more days?
This is the longest trip that I've ever been on, so I'm a little ready to go home. But, I've loved every second of this trip. I've had so much fun touring Spain with my teammates and everyone else. So in that sense I don't want it to be over.

Did you do any shopping and have you bought any souvenirs?
I did a little bit of shopping! I got a couple of little gifts for my friends and family and a souvenir for me that will always remind me of this trip. Oh, and I definitely bought some chocolate to take home with me. European chocolate is just better than the stuff back home.

Alohi Robins-Hardy summarizes our final game in Spain.

Tell us about the game vs. FSA?
I think our team did well. Femeni Sant Adria (FSA) was a pretty well-rounded team.

How were their players and their skill level?
They had a lot of good shooters and their ball handlers weren’t too bad. They also had a couple of players that were able to post up, unlike the other team’s we’ve played.

Where did we play, how was the facility?
The one thing I do know is that it was extremely hot. It was literally like a sauna in there, probably the hottest gym anyone has ever played in.

As a team, how did we play?
We had our highs and our lows, but I think that overall we did really well. I believe we were able to handle the ball a lot better in this game.

Did we get together with the team and/or exchange gifts?
We did not exchange jerseys because no one wanted to.

In Bilbao for sightseeing and third game. Blog #7

Aug 22, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 7:35 pm | Updated: August 22, 2014 8:39 pm | Permalink

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bilbao, Spain Blog #7

Today the Cougar women’s basketball team spent part of the day sightseeing, touring the Guggenheim Museum and then played its third game in Spain.

Head coach Jeff Judkins provides the day’s blog. Maddy Ziering-Smith will give us a summary of tonight’s game.

BYU beat EUS 69-50. The Federation that has been hosting us did an awesome job preparing for the game. The team that we played was very well coached.

What did the team do today?
Today the Basketball Federation was so kind and planned a guided excursion for us on a boat stationed in the harbor. Our team and the EUS team both went on the boat tour. Bilbao has the most modern harbor in Spain. Early on it was known as being very safe. You can apparently swim in the water, but I don’t think anyone will try that soon. This harbor took 15 years to redo and is known as the heart of the city. The first transporter bridge in the world is in this harbor. It was fun to see. It carries (like a gondola) cars, freight, people, etc.

After the boat tour, our team spent some time in the Guggenheim Museum that is here in Bilbao. It was built in 1997 and is made with three things – stone, glass and titanium. One of the highlights for the team was the spider art form called Mother and the Wishing Tree. At night, the Guggenheim’s five fountains in the front all light up with dancing fire. We all also enjoyed the Huge Dog statue made with flowers.

What did you eat today? We had breakfast in the hotel and then for lunch I had a veggie sandwich and two éclairs. After the game, we ate dinner at the hotel as a team. It was the first time that I’ve ever had rice, egg, and tomato sauce for an appetizer. Then we were served salads that we shared. Then we had tuna and white potatoes and warm water from a bottle. So many courses!!!

Maddy Ziering-Smith has tonight’s game summary from a player’s perspective.
We played EUS (Basque National Team) for the second time.

Did they do anything different against us?
The biggest difference was that they switched from man-to-man defense to a zone defense.

Did we do anything differently?
We wanted to come out more aggressively and set the tone for the game. Also, the first game they were successful at pressing so we fixed getting better catches and pushing the ball up the court.

Defensively we switched defensive strategies and lastly we didn’t have any technical fouls or back-court violations:)

Did you play any differently, how did you match up with their players in the second game?
Played more aggressive and forced the guards left. We also ended the game squeezing on pick on balls.

How did we play?
We played a great game and really focused on working on the adjustments. We were successful and won by 19, 69-50

Did we get together with the team afterwards? Any gift exchanges?
After the game we traded jerseys with them and took a group photo wearing them. We became pretty good friends with the National Team and we really enjoyed the experience.

Did you get to have a conversation with a player? What did you talk about?
Prior to the game we were able to go on a boat ride with them. It was a lot of fun getting to know them and talking about our different ways of life. They were fascinated with our currency and I gave them $1 to have for the time when they come to the United States.

Did you find out anything unique or interesting about the players?
They range in age from 21 to 30 years old and their schooling is separate from basketball so it takes them longer to finish their education. They are professional athletes and (are paid approximately 1,00 Euros a month) and only 12 players are allowed on each team.

Bronco Mendenhall promos

Aug 22, 2014 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 11:34 am | Permalink

Coach Bronco Mendenhall got the chance to show off his acting chops in these promos for BYU Sports Nation. Check them out.

Game day, team's second game

Aug 21, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 8:27 pm | Updated: August 21, 2014 8:40 pm | Permalink

San Sebastian, Spain (Thursday, August 21, 2014)

Today was game day for BYU women's basketball. They played their second of four games on their 10-day tour of Spain. The team was the Basque National Team, Euskady (EUS) and the contest was played in San Sebastian.

Blog #6 Makenzie Nielson, the team manager provides us with a report on the day’s events. A summary of the game from a player's perspective is given by Micaelee Orton

What did you do and see today?
After breakfast and our shootaround, we saw the Spanish countryside as we traveled from Bilbao to San Sebastian. It is beautiful and so green.

How does San Sebastian compare with Bilbao and Madrid?
It is nothing like Madrid. It is super green and looks like it could be in Portland. Madrid looks like Las Vegas. They are very different.

What is unique about San Sebastian?
San Sebastian is unique because it has the most expensive real estate in Spain. It is an extremely beautiful city.

Did you buy any souvenirs?
We bought a game that is similar to ping-pong. It has paddles and a ball and you hit the ball back and forth to try and keep it from hitting the ground.

What were your meals like? What did you eat?
Today for lunch a lot of us were really hungry and we wanted to eat something that was familiar so we went to McDonald’s. Then we had a delicious dinner after our game. We had salad, rice and chicken and yogurt and fruit for dessert.

What was the itinerary for today?
Today was a really relaxed day. The team woke up and went to shootaround. Then we went to San Sebastian, ate lunch and then played on the beach for a couple of hours. After the beach we went to our game and then straight to dinner. Then finally we rode the bus back to Bilbao to sleep.

More on the game vs. the Basque National Team, Euskadi, from Micaelee Orton

What was this game like?
We come out strong right form the tip. I think we were ahead the entire game. The starters really set the tone and executed very well. Our defense was really good as well. I think we surprised the other team.

Tell us about this team …
This team was definitely better than the first team we played. It’s their national team so they executed much better and were more organized, the skill level of the girls individually was much better and they were also a lot taller. I think the difference between our first game and this one was that we were just more ready to play.

Did you have to make any adjustments to the game/format, etc.?
This game was a little different because we only had a 24-second shot clock and only eight seconds to get across half-court. We played four 10-minute quarters, which was different also. It kind of made the game feel like it went by faster. After five fouls we went into the bonus, shooting two shots, so that was new as well. It’s kind of weird that we can’t yell when the other team is shooting. I’m so used to yelling “shot!” when they shoot. I even did yell it a couple of times when I was playing because I forgot, but luckily I didn’t get a technical.

Where did we play, what was the facility like?
The facility was definitely the nicest one we’ve been to here. We also had a pretty decent-sized crowd, and our BYU fans were awesome and good in numbers as well.

How did we play?
We played great and had fun. Morgan Bailey came out in beast-mode right from the start and just dominated. Kylie handled the ball and set the pace very well too. We seemed more relaxed and more focused. We wanted to beat these girls.

Did we get together with the team afterwards? Gift exchange?
We got with them before and after the game. Before the game, we gave them t-shirts and they gave us a small decorative flag and t-shirts as well. After the game, we all got together on the court and took a group picture.

Did you get to have a conversation with a player or two?
I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with any of the players. Everything was happening kind of fast. But it was okay because I was saved from the embarrassment of my poor Spanish-speaking skills! I have none.

Did you find out anything unique or interesting about the players?
I thought it was very cool that they are the national team. Not many teams get the opportunity to not only represent their university, but their country as well. When they played our national anthem at the beginning of our game for us, I felt very honored and fortunate to be here and play their national team while representing our country at the same time.

BYU Athletics hosts 10th annual Cougar Kickoff

Aug 21, 2014 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 9:42 am | Updated: August 21, 2014 2:06 pm | Permalink

BYU Athletics began the 2014 fall season with its 10th annual Cougar Kickoff Wednesday evening.

Thousands were in attendance to meet athletes from the football, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and cross country teams. Players signed autographs and played games with fans.

Those who participated also had a chance to meet Cosmo, the Cheer team and the Cougarettes.

Photos of the evening’s festivities can be found on the BYU Cougars Facebook page.

Fans will have an additional opportunity to visit with members of the football team this Saturday when the Salt Lake Chapter of the BYU Cougar Club sponsors the Big Blue Bash. The event begins at 7 p.m. MDT at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City. Admission is $10 at the door.

BYU women in San Sebastian, Spain Blog #5

Aug 20, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 4:35 pm | Updated: August 20, 2014 5:41 pm | Permalink

San Sebastian, Spain (Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014)

Blog #5

Now in their sixth day in Spain, the BYU women's basketball team left Bilbao in the morning and traveled by bus about 90-minutes away to do some sightseeing in San Sebastian. The Cougar women are scheduled to play a game vs. National Team Pais Basque there Thursday night.

The day as seen by Savannah Irwin

How was the bus ride to San Sebastian?
The view from the bus was breathtaking!! For miles (or rather, kilometers) all you could see was lush greenery, foliage on rolling hills until suddenly a tiny town with high-rise buildings in orange, green or another bright color would appear out of nowhere. It was something else.

What did you see along the way?
I saw many vibrant buildings and high-rises and tons of trees and greenery. Along the way, I talked with everyone sitting around me and enjoyed some laughs.

What did you see in San Sebastian that you liked or disliked?
The best part of the entire day was when we first arrived in San Sebastian and went to an overlook which had a tiny amusement park and fantastic view of the entire city. You could see everything from there. Several of us got to enjoy the bumper cars at the amusement park and that was so fun.

What about lunch and dinner?
I actually ended up eating lunch and dinner at the same place and ordered an old reliable pizza. However, the kind of pizza was something I’d never had outside of Spain. It had spinach, bacon, onion and cream on it. It was delicious!

What customs have you observed, how are the Spanish people?
Smoking is definitely way more common in Spain. Almost everyone outside, young and old do it. The people overall have been very kind and patient. They listen to my broken Spanish and try to help me the best they can. Also, tipping in Spain is optional, although we still do it.

Have you been able to do some shopping, got any souvenirs?
I got some bracelets for my family and me that say “San Sebastian” on them. Also, while we were on the beach, I collected seashells and filled a cup with sand that I’ll put in a glass bottle and keep as a souvenir. I also bought some clothes because my luggage was lost and won’t be here until tomorrow.

What else did you do today?
Going to the beach was definitely an awesome experience. The water was beautiful and just warm enough to enjoy the time there even thought the sun was hiding. The only complaint I have, which is a silly one to say the least, was that there was only a short board for Maddy to teach me to surf on. On the bus ride back to Bilbao and our hotel, several of my teammates and coaches, including our associate athletic director Brian Santiago, entertained us with some karaoke.

Travel day to Bilbao

Aug 19, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 5:04 pm | Updated: August 19, 2014 5:18 pm | Permalink

Bilbao, Spain (Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014)

Blog #4

After picking up a 94-93 win last night in their first game while in Spain, the BYU women's basketball team traveled by bus to Bilbao, Spain, arriving in the city around 4 p.m.

Freshman Amanda Wayment provides today's team blog.

How was the bus ride to Bilbao? What did you see along the way?
The bus ride was four hours long, but surprisingly it went by fast. I slept almost the whole time along with the rest of the team. I was asleep most of the way, but whenever I was awake there wasn’t much to see. We did see some sunflower fields that were really pretty though! The countryside started off as dry, but as we got closer to Bilbao, more trees and mountains appeared until we got to the city. We took a bathroom break and then stopped a little later again to have lunch in a restaurant that served different varieties of sandwiches.

What did you have for dinner?
For dinner we literally could not find anything to eat so we walked around for almost three hours until we found a pizza place down the street from our hotel. The city is very beautiful with a big river across from our hotel.

What’s been your favorite food/meal so far on the trip?
My favorite food so far has been the steak and pasta we ate right after our game on Monday night in Madrid.

Did you do any shopping, or get any souvenirs?
The only shopping I’ve done is buying little helicopter toys in the town square in Madrid for my nephews.

Is there anything else you saw, did or experienced today?
We saw a huge tent with a big projection screen of the soccer game tonight and everyone was trying to catch a glimpse of the game. It is obvious they take their soccer very serious here.

Opponent Previews

Aug 19, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 2:24 pm | Updated: August 19, 2014 2:26 pm | Permalink

This season the BYU Cougars will play a loaded nonconference schedule before defending its consecutive West Coast Conference championships. The Cougars will face 14 teams who won half or more of their games last season and will play five teams who won either a share of a regular season title or a conference tournament title. Below are recaps of each team's performance last season and information on this year's team.

Clicking on the team's name will take you to its website, while clicking on the game time and date for home games will take you to the single game ticket page. If you are interested in season tickets, click here. If you are interested in a student ROC Pass, click here.


at Cal State Fullerton (8-7-7, 3-3-2)

Aug. 22, 7 p.m. PDT

The Titans won twice in penalty kicks in the Big West Tournament to make the NCAA tournament in 2013. They drew Stanford and fell 1-0 in the first round. Senior midfielder Chelsey Patterson made the Preseason Big West All-Conference Team. Patterson has started all but six games in her career. Cal State Fullerton traveled to Provo to open the season in Provo as they fell to the Cougars 3-1.


Washington State (14-3-4, 7-3-1) NSCAA #26, #24

Aug. 25, 5:30 p.m. MDT

A five-game winning streak helped move the Cougars into second place in the Pac-12 last season. Washington State lost to Illinois in penalty kicks in the first round of the NCAA tournament before USC hired away head coach Keidane McAlpine. The Cougars replaced him with UNC Greensboro head coach Steve Nugent. Washington State lost forward Micaela Castain who scored as many goals as the Cougars gave up all of last season – 11.


at Tennessee (8-7-4, 3-5-3) CSM #41

Aug. 29, 7 p.m. EDT

The Volunteers finished with their fourth consecutive winning season in 2013, but finished just outside the SEC tournament field and missed out on the NCAA tournament. Tennessee will pair senior goalkeeper Julie Eckel and senior forward and MAC Hermann Trophy nominee Hannah Wilkinson with 14 new players including transfers from Miami and Florida State to try to get back to the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years. Carlyn Baldwin will play for the U.S. in the U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada prior to the season. 


Baylor (11-6-3, 3-4-1) CSM #28

Labor Day, Sept. 1, 1 p.m. MDT

Despite a six-game winless streak in the middle of their conference season, the Bears recovered to make it to the Big 12 semifinals, but missed out on an NCAA tournament bid a year after making it to the Sweet 16. Baylor shut out opponents in 13 of its 20 games last season and return senior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss along with leading goal scorer and assist maker Bri Campos. The Bear's only non-conference loss in 2013 came at home against BYU 2-1.


at Utah (10-5-6, 6-3-2) CSM #42

Sept. 5, 5 p.m. MDT

The Utes won on the final day of Pac-12 play to finish in third place, which earned them a date at SEC champion Texas A&M in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Utes held national champion UCLA to a 1-1 draw in Salt Lake last season and return nine starters for this season. Ashley Hatch's penalty kick gave the Cougars a 1-0 victory over Utah last season in Provo.


LSU (9-9-2, 5-5-1) NSCAA #35

Sept. 11, 6 p.m. MDT

The Tigers went unbeaten in their first six SEC matches last year, before finishing winless in their final six. LSU has signed four international players the past two seasons and have players from New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and England on the roster. The Tigers will have four players who will participate in the U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada prior to the season. Left back Megan Lee and goalkeeper Lily Alfeld play for New Zealand, while Emma Fletcher and Jordane Carvery play for Canada. The Cougars traveled to LSU and scored the final three goals to come away with a 4-2 victory on Labor Day in 2013. 


Long Beach State (8-7-3, 2-3-3)

Sept. 13, 7 p.m. MDT

The 49ers lost on the final day of the season to miss out on the Big West Conference tournament. They finished with a winning record after playing three major conference teams and going 3-1 against WCC opponents, including a 1-0 home victory over BYU in September. This season, senior defender Taylor Nelson and sophomore midfielder Mimi Rangel were selected to the Preseason Big West All-Conference Team. Rangel was the conference's Freshman of the Year last season.


Oregon (4-12-3, 2-8-1)

Sept. 18, 7 p.m. MDT

The Ducks brought up the rear in the Pac-12 last season, but played much better at home than on the road. Oregon also only graduated three seniors and return every goal scorer and all but one assist. Goalkeeper Abby Steele allowed just over one goal a game and recorded five shutouts, despite the team only winning four games. Oregon was picked to finish ahead of Oregon State by the Pac-12 coaches this season.


Colorado College (15-4-3, 8-1-1) CSM #43

Sept. 20, TBA

The Tigers made the NCAA tournament for the 11th time in program history last season out of C-USA and took Duke to a shootout before losing. Colorado College makes the move to the Mountain West Conference for the 2014 season. The Tigers return a bulk of their offense, but three defenders and its goalkeeper graduated which could make for some high-scoring affairs early on. Midfielder Jessie Ayers is a MAC Hermann Trophy nominee for the second straight season after scoring 13 goals and recording 27 points. She also trained with the U-23 U.S. National Team this past June.


at Denver (18-2-1, 7-0-0) NSCAA #25, CSM #27

Sept. 25, 7 p.m. MDT

In its first season in the Summit League, Denver ran through the competition, only allowing a goal against North Dakota State and averaging almost four goals per game. The Pioneers played a tough nonconference schedule, losing on the road to Big Ten champion Nebraska, but defeating BYU in Provo 1-0. The Pioneers lost eight seniors including players who scored half the team's goals from last season.


at SMU (9-9-1, 3-5-1)

Sept. 27, TBA

The Mustangs made it to the quarterfinals in the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament, but were never able to piece together more than two wins at a time in 2013. SMU will have 10 upperclassmen returning in addition to three sophomores who played in almost every game last season.


at San Diego (12-8-0, 5-4-0)

Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. PDT

The Toreros finished tied for fourth with Pepperdine in the WCC last season. They did manage a positive goal differential. Every team San Diego faced that made the NCAA tournament last season the Toreros faced on the road, meaning this year they should have a much better chance at home against the three defending conference champs BYU, Santa Clara and Portland as well as their nonconference opponents.


Portland (17-3-1, 8-1-0) NSCAA #11, CSM #16

Oct. 9, 6 p.m. MDT

The Pilots split the WCC crown with BYU and Santa Clara as the three teams couldn't separate themselves. Portland lost to Illinois 4-3 in overtime in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Pilots lost Amanda Frisbie and Ellen Parker to the NWSL along with goalkeeper Erin Dees and forward Micaela Capelle to graduation. Those four accounted for 7.5 shutouts, 24 goals and 12 assists, as well as 13 game-winning goals. 


Gonzaga (7-11-1, 3-6-0)

Oct. 11, 7 p.m. MDT

The Bulldogs only lost two seniors from the 2013 season and this year can field a team entirely of upperclassmen if coach Amy Edwards wanted to. The two leading scorers and three assist leaders all return for 2014 along with goalkeeper Christie Tombari. The Cougars escaped Spokane with a 1-0 victory after a first half goal from Marissa Nimmer in 2013.


at LMU (3-16-1, 0-8-1)

Oct. 18, 7 p.m. PDT

After a three-game winning streak in late August and early September, the Lions didn't win again for the rest of the season. LMU head coach Michelle Myers brought in 14 new players, including two transfers, to turn the ship around. The Cougars won 2-0 in Provo last year.


Santa Clara (16-4-2, 8-1-0) NSCAA #10, CSM #9

Oct. 23, 7 p.m. MDT

The Broncos couldn't win on the road at Portland for the outright conference title and split it three ways. Santa Clara did make it the furthest in the NCAA tournament, reaching the third round before losing in overtime to Virginia Tech. The Broncos lost eight seniors including two All-Americans, but Sofia Huerta will try to keep the Santa Clara attack from falling behind its pace from a season ago. Huerta is a MAC Hermann Trophy nominee after scoring 16 goals and 40 points a season ago.


San Francisco (6-10-4, 1-6-2)

Oct. 25, 7 p.m. MDT

The Dons had a winning record at home last season, but could only find one win on the road. San Francisco has added seven players including a transfer from Washington in hopes of having more success away from home. BYU beat the Dons 2-0 last season as head coach Jennifer Rockwood won her 300th game.


at Saint Mary's (6-14-0, 2-7-0)

Oct. 30, 3 p.m. PDT

The Gaels lost leading scorer Briana Campos and have added eight freshmen including Juliana Los from New Zealand and sister of SMC basketball player Steve Holt, Ilyssa Holt. BYU won 6-1 over Saint Mary's on Senior Day in Provo last season.


at Pacific (4-12-3, 3-5-1)

Nov. 1, 7 p.m. MDT

In its first season in the WCC, Pacific finished in sixth place as the Tigers won three games in conference play after only winning one during its nonconference schedule. Pacific lost its top three scorers, but sophomore forward Alex Hussar returns to lead the offense. After Pacific scored first, BYU won 3-1 in Provo last year.


at Pepperdine (10-7-2, 5-4-0) 

Nov. 8, 1 p.m. PST

The Waves tied for fourth with San Diego a year after making the NCAA tournament. The Waves have quite the schedule this season as they host North Carolina in August and face defending national champion UCLA in Hawaii the first week of September. The Waves were held scoreless as BYU won 1-0 in Provo last season. Pepperdine's Taylor Alvarado played for Mexico in the U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada. Lynn Williams is a MAC Hermann Trophy nominee after scoring 11 goals a year ago.

Game day, team's first game

Aug 18, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 6:00 pm | Updated: August 18, 2014 6:18 pm | Permalink

Madrid, Spain - (Aug. 18, 2014)

Blog #3
The BYU women's basketball team spent its final day in Madrid doing some sightseeing and then prepared to play its first of four games on their 10-day tour through Spain.

A summary of the day from Cassie Broadhead 
What did you go see and what did you learn today?
We went on a walking tour around Madrid. We saw the Almudera Cathedral and the Royal Palace. We had fun and took pictures in front of the Palace as a team.

During our walking tour we stopped at the Puerta del Sol. Our tour guide Brooke pointed out that the bell on one of the buildings rings 12 times on New Year’s Eve. Many people come to hear the bell and they bring grapes because tradition state that if you put a grape in your mouth for each of the 12 month’s of the year and you eat them all at once, you are promised success in the upcoming year.

We didn’t do a lot of walking, but we were able to do enough and see many interesting things and see another part of Madrid. After the tour was over, my family along with coach Judkins,his wife Mary Kay and Kristine Fuller went to a pizza place called Pizza Emporium. The pizzas were all thin crust and maybe the closest pizza to New York style pizza (my favorite kind of pizza).

We were also able to do some shopping and I bought some Aladdin pants. The pants scrunch at the bottom and come in really cool patterns, which makes them unique. Tonight we played our first game and we won!!

More on the game from Ashley Garfield
Tell us about the game, the players and the facility …
Our first game was honestly one of the most interesting games I have ever been a part of. It’s the club’s offseason right now so many of their players were out of town so we ended up playing against three boys and four girls.

The boys were really good and fast, but the girls’ level of play wasn’t as high. The facility was really hot and the floors were slick, it was like playing on an ice skating ring. It sure made you feel like you were burning calories with how hot it was!!

Were there different rules that you had to adjust to?
Yes! Apparently, there is a shot clock for just the last minute of the game. Also, you can’t scream when someone is shooting a layup and you can only have three players at the free throw line.

How did our team play?
You could definitely tell that we had some first game jitters and our first half was sloppy, but we did see some really good things from our younger players who were able to get some valuable experience. After the game was over, a few of us traded jerseys with their players and we were able to take a picture with all of us together.

How was the communications with the players? Refs?
We couldn’t understand each other at all. We even had a hard time conversing with the refs to understand what they were calling.

Was there anything else that you learned about your opponent?
No. I thought it was interesting though, to not only see the gender difference, but also the age difference in the players. We also learned on the way there that in Spain they don’t have school sports (high school, college) like we do in the U.S., which I found interesting.