(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – No. 13 seed BYU women’s volleyball will participate in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, hosting Princeton Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse in the first round.
“I'm thrilled for the team to be able to play at home again in front of our great crowd,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “We're excited to play Princeton in the first round. We're familiar with both UNLV and Utah, but we're focused on the Tigers.”
The Cougars (27-3, 16-2 West Coast Conference) will play against Princeton in the first round and the winner will compete against the winner of the match between Utah and UNLV. BYU and Princeton will play Friday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. MST with Utah and UNLV facing off right before at 5 p.m. MST on Elaine Michaelis Court. The winners of each match will play Saturday at 7 p.m. MST in the second round.
BYU, Princeton, Utah and UNLV are part of the Texas Region. Saturday’s winner will advance to the regional semifinals on Dec. 9 at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Cougars are the No. 13 seed in the tournament for the second-straight season.
The last time BYU played in the NCAA tournament was in 2015, when they advanced to the regional semifinals for the fourth-straight season.
First and second round opponents
Princeton is 19-4 on the season and finished 13-1 in the Ivy League Conference.
BYU is a perfect 3-0 against the Tigers all-time, last winning in a neutral-site sweep in 2012.
Princeton last participated in the NCAA tournament in 2007. This is the program’s sixth time making the tournament.
The Tigersn are led by 3.76 kills per set from Cara Mattaliano, Jessie Harris’ 10.52 assist average, 3.71 digs per set from Kelly Matthews and Brittany Ptak’s 0.79 blocks per set.
Utah is 20-11 on the year and carries an 11-9 Pac-12 Conference record.
The Utes beat the Cougars at the Smith Fieldhouse in five sets earlier this year, but BYU holds a 69-30 record in the all-time series.
Utah is led by Adora Anae’s 4.68 kills per set, 7.17 assists per set from Bailey Choy, Anae’s 3.23 digs per set and Berkeley Oblad’s 0.94 blocks per set.
UNLV is 23-7 overall and finished 12-6 in the Mountain West Conference.
BYU leads the overall series history 28-6, including getting a sweep at home against the Rebels earlier this year – UNLV’s first defeat of the season.
UNLV is led by Bree Hammel’s 3.85 kills per set, 10.75 assists per set from Alexis Patterson, Carly Riehl’s 2.94 digs per set and 1.25 blocks per set from Elsa Descamps.
After getting four teams into the tournament a year ago, the WCC earned just two spots this season. BYU received the automatic bid for winning the conference and San Diego earned an at-large bid.
Seven of BYU’s opponents this season made it into the NCAA tournament. Besides league foe San Diego, LIU Brooklyn, Ohio State, Boise State, Missouri, Utah and UNLV all earned spots in the tournament. BYU is 6-2 against the teams that will play in the tournament this year.
Tickets can be purchased on the BYU ticket website, with Full Session Passes available from the $10-$15 price range for both days. Students with ROC passes can get into the match for $2. Individual day passes potentially go on sale Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 9 a.m. MST.
The Friday match between BYU and Princeton will be broadcast live on BYUtv and streamed on BYUtv.org. Should BYU advance to the second round, BYUtv would also broadcast that match. The match between UNLV and Utah on Friday will be streamed live on Campus Insiders. Should BYU fail to advance to the second round, Campus Insiders would also stream that match on its online network. The BYUtv matches will also be available to stream on ESPN3 with the WatchESPN app.