Cougars Kickoff 2010 Campaign in Illinois

Nicole Warner and the Cougars will travel to Illinois for the Illini Classic to take on Illinois, Middle Tennessee and South Carolina. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Kicking off the 2010 women’s volleyball campaign, the Cougars will travel to the University of Illinois for the State Farm Illini Classic Aug. 27-28.

“After our blue and white match Tuesday, I feel like we are going into the tournament more educated,” BYU head coach Shay Goulding said. “Through the season we will continue to change, evolve and be better players – we are excited to get the season started at Illinois.”

The Cougars play No. 6 Illinois Friday at 6 p.m. MT in the first game of the tournament. Saturday BYU will take on Middle Tennessee at 11 a.m. MT, and South Carolina at 3:30 p.m. MT.

Senior setter Kiana Rogers will lead the Cougars in the Illini Classic. She enters her third season as a starting setter for BYU, leading the Cougars with 1,017 assists last season. Holding up the defense will be returning senior Christina Measom who ranked second in MWC play for blocks at 1.37 per game.

BYU is 34-6 all-time in season openers (no match-by-match records for 1971) and has not lost a season opener since 1999. The team leads Illinois 3-1 in the all-time series, the last meeting being in 2002 where the Fighting Illini swept the Cougars 3-0.

The Cougars played Middle Tennessee last in December of 2007, sweeping the Blue Raiders 3-0. It is the only match in which the teams have faced each other. In the final game, BYU will face South Carolina in the first meeting.

Live stats will be available for all three matches; visit the Illinois women’s volleyball schedule page. Click HERE to access these links.

After these three matches, the Cougars will host back-to-back tournaments in the Smith Fieldhouse featuring No. 2 Nebraska at 7 p.m. on Friday Sept. 3. Come cheer on your Cougars as they open the season at home.

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