Junior middle blocker Rachel Dyer ranks fifth in the nation and leads the MWC hitting .451. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- After playing 10 of its first 14 matches on the road, the No. 23 BYU women's volleyball team will return home this weekend for a pair of Mountain West Conference matches. The Cougars, 10-4 overall and 3-2 in the MWC, will face TCU on Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on New Mexico Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.
"This is another important weekend of volleyball for us in the hunt for the Mountain West Conference title," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "TCU and New Mexico have both done well in the preseason. We're excited to be playing in the Smith Fieldhouse again and hope our fans will come out and support us."
Playing on Elaine Michaelis Court will be a welcome change for the Cougars this weekend as their 10 road matches is the most through the end of September since 1997. The Cougars have gone 3-1 in the Smith Fieldhouse this season and are averaging 1,708 fans, 17th in the nation, including the fourth-largest crowd in BYU women's volleyball history with 3,880 fans against No. 10 Wisconsin in the Cougars? home opener.
BYU swept through the weekend last week with two road wins at Wyoming (30-28, 31-29, 30-21) and at Air Force (30-17, 30-21, 30-27), the Cougars' first league sweeps of the year. Cougar middle blocker Rachel Dyer had a solid weekend as she averaged 4.00 kills per game on .564 hitting while adding 1.67 blocks per contest. On the year, Dyer ranks fifth in the nation and leads the MWC hitting .451 while ranking eighth in the league in blocks at 1.15 per game. She has posted double-digit kills in 11 of 14 matches, including the last five.
The Horned Frogs are 15-4 overall this season and 2-2 in conference play after losing to New Mexico last week. TCU is led by sophomore middle blocker Kourtney Edwards with 3.51 kills per game followed closely by sophomore outside hitter Lauren Otto at 3.33 kpg and senior outside hitter LeMeita Smith at 3.21 kpg. BYU is 9-0 all-time against TCU.
The Lobos are off to one of their best starts in program history at 12-4 overall and 3-1 in the league. Their 12 total victories is the second-highest total by a Lobo team since the formation of the MWC in 1999, and their three league victories already puts them halfway to matching the most MWC wins by a Lobo volleyball team (6 in 2005). Junior outside hitter Jeanne Fairchild paces New Mexico and the conference with 4.68 kills per game, 36th in the nation, while ranking second in the MWC in points (5.16). The Cougars are 58-7 all-time against the Lobos.
Both matches will be available live via live stats. BYU vs. TCU will also be available on BYU All-Access. The move from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the New Mexico match was done to accommodate the Saturday evening session of the biannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that will be held this weekend.