(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Hosting back-to-back tournaments, the BYU women’s volleyball team (2-4) will host Wichita State (3-2), Loyola Marymount (4-2) and the University of Houston (1-5) Friday and Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse for the BYU Molten Classic.
BYU will play Loyola Marymount Friday at 7 p.m., Houston on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Wichita State Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Wichita State and Houston will kickoff the tournament at 4:30 p.m. on Friday while Saturday’s competition will feature LMU vs. Wichita State at 12 p.m. and Houston vs. LMU at 5 p.m.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to be home again during preseason competition,” BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “We are bringing in three more quality teams in LMU, Houston and Wichita State. Considering we will be joining the West Coast Conference next year, it is particularly exciting to have LMU come in. This will be a great opportunity to match up against a team that we will be competing with on a regular basis in the future.”
Learning from this past weekend: Our focus this weekend must be on finishing as strong as we start and not granting teams the opportunity to come back when we have them down. We committed far too many errors this past weekend that allowed teams back in the match and that is unacceptable.
The Cougars are coming off a 1-2 weekend at the BYU Nike Invitational where they defeated Idaho State (3-2) and fell to No. 7 Nebraska (1-3) and Cal Poly (2-3).
BYU leads all three teams in the all-time series at 7-4, including the first meeting with Wichita State. The Cougars last faced Loyola Marymount and Houston at the Loyola Marymount Invitational in 1999, where BYU swept both teams.
“Wichita State has had a great deal of success under head coach Chris Lamb,” said Goulding. “They just came off their sixth-straight 25-win season in 2009, so they know how to win. I expect them to be a very offensive team that will provide for great competition this weekend and another great team that will prepare us for conference play.”
BYU leads LMU 1-0 in the all-time series. Starting in the 2011-12 season, BYU will join Loyola Marymount in the West Coast Conference.
“I expect LMU to be a very good team,” said Goulding. “They are led by a new coach this season with a strong track record -- he knows how to get his teams to win and they have already enjoyed some early successes this season.
Houston and BYU will share their 11th meeting, BYU leading the series 6-4.
“Houston is being led by a new head coach and have struggled some during this preseason, but considering who they have played I think their record right now can be extremely misleading,” said Goulding. “I am certain they will come in hungry for a win.”
After the tournament, the Cougars will continue with pre-season action Tuesday at home against in-state rival Utah State, and Friday and Saturday against Hawaii in Honolulu before starting Mountain West Conference play Sept. 24 against Colorado State in the Smith Fieldhouse.