The Cougars hope to keep the Smith Fieldhouse rocking this season with a competitive schedule against some of the nation's top teams. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
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PROVO -- BYU head women’s volleyball coach Shay Goulding today announced the Cougars’ 2009 schedule. Continuing its tradition of competitive scheduling, BYU will play seven teams that qualified for the 2008 NCAA Tournament, including five that were ranked in final CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Poll.
“We have worked extremely hard in the offseason and will start well ahead of where we were last year at this time,” said Goulding. “Our preconference schedule is challenging, but we are excited for the high level of competition. I expect that it will season our young squad early, prepare us well for a successful Mountain West campaign and put us in a good position for postseason play. I anticipate a great year for Cougar volleyball.”
In addition to a full slate of Mountain West Conference action, the Cougars will play in three preseason tournaments. BYU will open the year at a tournament hosted by the University of Missouri and will face the Tigers, Ole Miss and Texas State before returning to the Smith Fieldhouse for its own annual event on Sept. 4 and 5. This year’s Nike Classic will feature in-state rival Weber State, Cal Poly and 2008 NCAA Tournament-qualifier Kansas State, who finished last season ranked No. 20.
The Cougars will then travel to women’s volleyball haven Lincoln, Neb., to compete in a tournament hosted by the Cornhuskers. In a power-packed weekend, the Cougars will take on perennial powerhouse UCLA and host Nebraska as well as Virginia in what will be the first meeting between the two squads. The Bruins finished the 2008 campaign ranked No. 8 nationally after advancing to the Regional Semifinals of the NCAA Tournament while the Cornhuskers reached the Final Four and were ranked No. 3 in the nation to end the year.
After starting the 16-match Mountain West Conference schedule on Sept. 17, BYU will step out of league play on Sept. 1 for a contest at Utah State and on Sept. 29 for a match against North Dakota State, winner of the Summit League last year. The Cougars will also play Utah Valley University in Provo on Oct. 27 amidst a competitive MWC slate and then complete the regular season on Nov. 28 at St. Mary’s, another 2008 NCAA Tournament qualifier.
BYU has a winning record against 16 of its 2009 opponents with first meetings against Texas State, Virginia and North Dakota State set for this season. The Cougars’ all-time record versus this year’s competition is a dominating 461-132-2 (.776).
2009 Schedule Quick Facts
- Number of Matches: 29
- Number of Opponents: 21
- Vs. Conference Opponents: 16
- Vs. Nonconference Opponents: 13
- 2008 Final Top 25 Teams: 5 (No. 3 Nebraska, No. 8 UCLA, No. 16 Utah, No. 20 Kansas State, No. 24 Colorado State)
- 2008 NCAA Tournament Teams: 7 (Colorado State, Kansas State, Nebraska, North Dakota State, St. Mary’s, UCLA, Utah)
- Regular-Season Conference Champions from 2008: 4 (Nebraska, North Dakota State, Texas State, Utah)
- 20-Win Teams in 2008: 11 (Colorado State, Kansas State, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota State, St. Mary’s, TCU, Texas State, UCLA, Utah, Weber State)
- Combined Opponent Record in 2008: 376-257 (.594)
- BYU All-Time vs. 2009 Opponents: 461-132-2 (.776)
- BYU All-Time vs. MWC Opponents: 328-85-1 (.793)