PROVO -- People interested in getting a preview of BYU's No. 7-ranked women's volleyball team can get a sneak peek Friday when the 1999 Cougars play a team of former Cougars in the BYU Alumnae Match. The match begins at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse and is open to the public.
The match is part of the final preparations for coach Elaine Michaelis as she readies her squad for its 1999 opener at the Georgia Invitational in Athens, Ga., next Friday and Saturday. Led by All-American setter Anna-Lena Smith and the nation's No. 1 blocker Nina Puikkonen, the Cougars are a legitimate national champion contender and the preseason pick to win the inaugural Mountain West Conference championship. BYU finished tied for fifth in last year's NCAA Tournament, one win away from its second final four appearance.
"We have five veteran players returning this year and some talented young players that will help us fill the holes from last year," said BYU coach Elaine Michaelis, second all-time in Division I victories with 813. "We have the potential to be very good. I'm excited to see how our team comes together."
Cougar alumnae participating in the match include BYU assistant coach and UVSC Hall of Famer Stephanie Trane (1988-89), Andrea Petrilli (1995-98), Helen Hjorth (1995-98), Wendy Midgley (1995-98), Rachel Greene (1996-97) and Heather Whittaker Barlow (1994-97).