Balanced Schedule for Cougars in 2004

Cougar Head Coach Karen Lamb unveiled the team's 2004 schedule March 17. BYU will host two tournaments for the first time since 1998, and are slated to play eight teams that qualified for the 2003 NCAA Tournament. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Entering her third season as head coach of the BYU women's volleyball team, Karen Lamb announced the team's 2004 schedule today.

The third-winningest NCAA Division I volleyball program with 925 wins, the Cougars' 2004 schedule features a total of 28 regular-season matches against 21 opponents. The balanced schedule will feature 14 matches each against Mountain West and non-conference foes, with 16 matches at home and 12 on the road.

BYU will start the season with three consecutive tournaments. It will open the season at the Penn State Classic, taking on the 2003 NCAA Regional finalist Nittany Lions who finished the year ranked No. 8. The Cougars will then return home and host two home tournaments in as many weeks for the first time since 1998.

"The Penn State tournament to start the year is obviously a big deal," Lamb said. "They're a team that had a strong finish to their season.

"It's no secret that our goal is to start the season off well, and we'll have quality teams at our tournaments that will help raise our level of play, right away."

In the BYU Mizuno Classic (Sept. 10-11), the Cougars will face 30-win team Memphis and NCAA Tournament participant Central Florida. The following week in the BYU/Utah Challenge (Sept. 17-18), BYU will play NCAA Tournament qualifier Saint Mary's and conclude with a match against UCLA, which finished the year ranked No. 5 and was a NCAA Regional finalist.

"UCLA is usually a top team and they also had a strong finish to their season last year," Lamb said." I'm excited about the balance we have in our preseason schedule."

The Cougars have two other home matches scheduled against out-of-state non-conference opponents in 2003 NCAA Tournament team Notre Dame (Oct. 20) and 2003 Big Sky regular-season champion Eastern Washington (Nov. 26).

After finishing third in the 2003 MWC regular season with a 10-4 record, the Cougars will face another tough conference slate. Colorado State (No. 14) and Utah (No. 24) both finished the season ranked in the top 25. BYU is 263-58-1 (.821) all time against MWC opponents.

"We'll be competing against high quality teams in our conference and it'll be tough again this year," Lamb said. "My hope for the conference is to increase our NCAA berths to four. I know we can get up to that, and I'd really like to see it happen."

Instate rivalries will also be rekindled during the 2004 campaign. BYU holds dominant records against every Utah state foe with a combined 161-27 (.856) record. The Cougars will play Utah (Sept. 24 and Oct. 23), Utah State (Sept. 28), Weber State (Oct. 5) and Utah Valley State (Oct. 26). UVSC is entering the second of a four-year NCAA reclassification process to Division I, and will play BYU for the third time ever and the second as a Division I team.

"Having our instate rivals like Weber State, Utah State and Utah Valley State on our schedule makes it even better," Lamb said. "Our instate rivals always get up to play us and playing them only strengthens the competitiveness of our schedule."

In all, BYU has ten 20-win teams on its schedule, and four 30-win teams. The Cougars will play eight teams that qualified for the 2003 NCAA Tournament, and five teams that finished the season ranked in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25.

The combined record of BYU's 2004 opponents this past season was 384-255 (.594) and the Cougars' all-time record versus their opponents is 394-97-2 (.801). Of BYU's 21 foes in 2004, it has a losing record against only one team (UCLA).

"We have a very good schedule with match-ups against some quality teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year," Lamb said. "and there's a mix of young teams that should be extremely competitive this season.

2004 Schedule Quick Facts

Number of matches: 28

Number of opponents: 21

Vs. conference teams: 14

Vs. non-conference teams: 14

NCAA Tourney teams from 2003: 8 (Penn State, Central Florida, Saint Mary's,

UCLA, Colorado State, Notre Dame and Utah)

Top 25 teams from 2003: 5 (No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 Penn State, No. 14 Colorado

State, No. 23 Utah and No. 24 Notre Dame)

Conference Champions from 2003: 5 (Central Florida, Colorado State, Notre

Dame, Penn State and Northern Colorado*)

30-win teams in 2003: 4 (Memphis, Penn State, Colorado State, Northern

Colorado**)

20-win teams in 2003: 10 (Memphis, Penn State, Colorado State, Northern

Colorado, Central Florida, Saint Mary's, UCLA, Notre

Dame, Utah and Eastern Washington)

Combined opponent record in 2003: 384-263 (.594)

BYU all time vs. 2004 opponents: 394-97-2 (.801)

BYU all time vs. MWC opponents: 263-58-1 (.821)

* Northern Colorado was the Division I Independent Champion

** Northern Colorado was in the first year of reclassification to Division I, and
competed in 2003 mainly against Division II teams. The 2004 season will mark its
first full year as a Division I squad

2004 Schedule

Sept. 3rd & 4th @ Penn State Tournament

Sept. 3rd BYU vs. Quinnipiac 7:30 PM

PSU vs. Rutgers 7:30 PM

Sept. 4th PSU vs. Quinnipiac 10:00 AM

BYU vs. Rutgers 1:00 PM

Rutgers vs. Quinnipiac 4:00 PM

PSU vs. BYU 7:30 PM

Sept. 10th & 11th BYU Mizuno Classic

Sept. 10th Central Florida vs. Memphis Noon

Oklahoma vs. Utah Valley State 5:00 PM

BYU vs. Memphis 7:30 PM

Sept. 11th Utah Valley State vs. Memphis 10:00 AM

Oklahoma vs. BYU 12:30 PM

Memphis vs. Oklahoma 5:30 PM

Central Florida vs. BYU 7:30 PM

Sept. 17th & 18th BYU/Utah Challenge

Sept. 17th BYU vs. Northern Colorado 10:00 AM

UNC vs. St. Mary's 2:00 PM

BYU vs. St. Mary's 7:30 PM

Sept. 18th BYU vs. UCLA 7:30 PM

Sept. 24th University of Utah 7:00 PM

Sept. 28th@ Utah State University 6:00 PM

Oct. 1st @ University of New Mexico 7:00 PM

Oct. 2nd @ Air Force Academy 7:00 PM

Oct. 5th Weber State University 7:00 PM

Oct. 8th San Diego State University 7:00 PM

Oct. 9th University of Las Vegas - Nevada 7:00 PM

Oct. 15th @ University of Wyoming 7:00 PM

Oct. 16th @ Colorado State University 7:00 PM

Oct. 20th Notre Dame 7:00 PM

Oct. 23rd@ University of Utah 7:00 PM

Oct. 26th @ Utah Valley State College 7:00 PM

Oct. 29th Air Force Academy 7:00 PM

Oct. 30th University of New Mexico 7:00 PM

Nov. 5th @ University of Las Vegas - Nevada 7:00 PM

Nov. 6th @ San Diego State University 7:00 PM

Nov. 12th Colorado State University 7:00 PM

Nov. 13th University of Wyoming 7:00 PM

Nov. 18th -- 20th Mountain West Conference Championship TBA

At Colorado State University -- Fort Collins, CO

Nov. 26th Eastern Washington 7:00 PM

Dec. 2nd -- 5th NCAA Tournament: 1st and 2nd Rounds TBA

Dec. 9th -- 12th NCAA Tournament: Regional TBA

Dec. 16th & 18th NCAA Tournament: National Championships TBA