BYU Opens MWC Play Thursday

Kayla Walker led the team in kills in all three games of the Ameritas Players Challenge held in Nebraska last week. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After going 0-3 at the Ameritas Players Challenge in Nebraska the BYU Cougars (4-6) will return home to open Mountain West Conference play against San Diego State (4-4) on Thursday in the Smith Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. and Saturday against Air Force (8-4) at 1 p.m.

“We have worked hard all preseason and competed with some incredible programs in order to prepare us to start our conference schedule this week,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “I feel very confident in what we have learned and how we are coming together. Conference is where it counts and the entire team feels prepared to welcome SDSU and Air Force into the Smith Fieldhouse. We are looking forward to it.”

The Cougars lost to No. 8 UCLA, No. 5 Nebraska and Virginia in the Ameritas Players Challenge last week, all in four sets.

Kayla Walker led the Cougars in kills, being the only Cougar named to the All-Tournament team. She tallied 17 kills against Virginia, 14 kills against Nebraska and 15 against UCLA.

Some of the bright spots in the tournament included the team’s hitting percentage of .680 in the first set against No. 5 Nebraska. Also in the UCLA match the team posted 16 team blocks to the Bruins’ six.

After Thursday’s game the Cougars will also take on conference opponent, Air Force, at 1 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. Thursday’s game will be broadcast live via BYUTV and Saturday’s game will be radio broadcast live on BYU Radio.

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