BYU Receives Invite to NCAA Championship

PROVO -- BYU was one of 64 teams to receive an invitation Monday to participate in the 2001 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship. The field of 64 was announced by the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee.

The 19th-ranked Cougars will open on the road for the first time since 1984, but they could still sleep in their own beds. BYU (20-8) will play in Salt Lake City and face Utah State (19-10) in a first-round match Thursday at 6 p.m. Host Utah (23-6), ranked 14th, will play Texas Tech (18-13) at 8 p.m. in the second match at Crimson Court.

"There are some mixed feelings when you are in the same site with teams you have already played and play every year," BYU coach Elaine Michaelis said. "It's not what you would normally expect but the committee was following a mandate to reduce travel for this year's tournament. It should be a great opportunity for people to come watch some great volleyball at Utah on Thursday and Friday."

The Aggies and Cougars met earlier this season in Provo, with Utah State defeating BYU in three games to end the Cougars' 20-match home winning streak. BYU has played Utah three times this season, going 1-2. The Cougars haven't played Texas Tech since 1998.

BYU will be making its 20th overall and 11th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars, one of only eight teams with 19 NCAA appearances, have advanced to the Sweet 16 in each of the last five tournaments.

BYU has an all-time record of 26-19 in NCAA Tournaments with one Final Four appearance (1993). The Cougars rank ninth in total NCAA tournament victories. BYU has hosted a NCAA tournament match ever year it has been invited except the 1984 season. In 1989 BYU did not receive an invitation to the championship

In addition to BYU and Utah, San Diego State and No. 9 Colorado State will also represent the Mountain West Conference in the tournament. The MWC was one of just five conferences to send four or more teams to the NCAA Tournament. The Big 12 led all conferences with eight teams selected. The Big Ten, and Pacific-10 conferences each placed six teams in the field, followed by the Mountain West and Big West conferences with four.