The 2007 women's volleyball team heads to the Stanford Invitational this week looking to pick up the program's 1000th victory. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The No. 9 BYU women's volleyball team (5-0) will attempt to become just the fourth program in NCAA volleyball history to record 1,000 wins this week as the Cougars head to the Stanford Invitational. BYU, just two wins away from 1,000, will face No. 17 Cal Poly on Thursday before taking on Saint Mary's on Friday and the No. 2 Cardinal on Saturday in the three-day event.
"This is another exciting week for us," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "The challenge that our program faces will be to play with the same type of intensity and personality on the road that we had at home last weekend."
With a 998-274-5 all-time record in the 39-year recorded history of BYU women's volleyball, the Cougars are on the verge of joining UCLA, Nebraska and Missouri State as the only programs in the nation to notch at least 1,000 all-time collegiate volleyball victories. Former BYU head coach Elaine Michaelis led BYU to 886 wins in her 33 recorded seasons, retiring second all-time in collegiate volleyball. Karen Lamb added 57 victories to the BYU total in her three seasons while current Cougar head coach Watson has gone 55-10 in just over two seasons. In the 38 years of recorded history prior to 2007, BYU has suffered only one losing season and has won 20 or more matches in 31 of the past 33 years.
"The tradition of volleyball at BYU is one of the best in the nation," said Watson. "We are all very honored to have the opportunity to be a part of this milestone and continue building on the legacy that has been established here."
BYU is also celebrating another achievement as the Cougars' No. 9 ranking in this week's AVCA Coaches' Poll is their highest since Nov. 22, 1999. BYU moved up from No. 15 after winning the BYU Molten Classic last weekend with an incredible five-game win over No. 10 Wisconsin and sweeps of American and Northern Iowa to improve to 5-0 on the year. The Cougars' victory over the Badgers was witnessed by 3,880 fans, the fourth-largest crowd in BYU women's volleyball history. Senior outside hitter Chelsea Goodman was named the tournament MVP for the second straight week while senior rightside hitter Erica Lott and junior middle blocker were named to the All-Tournament team.
The Cougars will face a tough test in getting to 1,000 wins as they face two more ranked opponents this week on the road. The No. 17 Mustangs are 3-3 in 2007 with two of those losses coming against No. 3 Penn State and top-ranked Nebraska. Saint Mary's is undefeated this year at 5-0 while the second-ranked Cardinal has gone 4-0 this season with all four victories coming against ranked opponents.
Action will kick off for the Cougars at 4:30 p.m. PST on Thursday against Cal Poly and will continue Friday at 4:30 p.m. against Saint Mary's and Saturday at 7 p.m. against Stanford. All three BYU matches can be heard on BYU Radio with the Stanford match being joined in progress following the BYU-UCLA football game beginning at 3:30 p.m. PST on Saturday. Live stats will also be available for all three contests, and the Cougar-Cardinal face-off will be streamed on the Internet for CSTV All-Access subscribers.