Rachel Dyer and the BYU women's volleyball team will be playing their final regular-season road matches this weekend. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The BYU women's volleyball team (15-6, 7-4 MWC) will play its last regular-season road matches this week as the Cougars take on TCU and New Mexico. BYU will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, to face the Horned Frogs on Thursday before battling the Lobos in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday.
The pair of road contests will have lasting consequences in the Mountain West Conference race as the Cougars are just one game ahead of both teams in the MWC standings. With a 7-4 league record, BYU is currently in third place while TCU, New Mexico and Utah are locked in a tie for fourth place at 6-5.
"Obviously, this will be a very important weekend for us as we begin the crucial month of November," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "We need to play well on the road and take control of our own destiny in terms of seeding for the MWC Tournament."
BYU went 2-0 last weekend with a sweep of Air Force on Friday, the Cougars' ninth of the year, and a four-game win over Wyoming on Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse. Chelsea Goodman led a balanced BYU attack against the Falcons with 10 kills and four aces as 11 Cougars saw action. Rachel Dyer led the way against the Cowgirls with 18 kills and 10 blocks to post her third career double-double. Goodman added 16 kills while Bryn Porter posted 15 and Ashton Hansen tallied a career-best 12 kills. Porter also threw in five aces.
The Cougars' final road swing will begin Thursday at TCU at 7 p.m. CT (6 p.m. MT). The Horned Frogs are 19-9 overall this season and 6-5 in the MWC. TCU is led by sophomore middle blocker Kourtney Edwards with 3.37 kills per game followed closely by senior outside hitter LeMeita Smith at 3.20 kpg and sophomore outside hitter Lauren Otto at 2.82. Edwards also ranks fourth in the conference hitting .351 and averages a team-best 1.17 blocks per game, seventh in the MWC. BYU leads the all-time series 10-0, including a sweep earlier this season.
Friday night's action begins at 7 p.m. and will have the Cougars looking for a little payback against the Lobos as New Mexico has taken the last two matches, including a four-game win in Provo earlier this season. The Lobos are 15-8 overall and 6-5 in the MWC after getting off to one of the best starts in school history. Their 15 total victories is the highest win total by a Lobo team since the formation of the MWC in 1999, and their six league victories matches the most MWC wins by a Lobo volleyball team (6 in 2005). Junior outside hitter Jeanne Fairchild paces New Mexico and the conference with 4.82 kills per game and 5.26 points per game. BYU owns a 58-8 all-time record in the series.
Both matches will be available via GameTracker and BYU All-Access. Links to those options can be found by going to the schedule page of the BYU women's volleyball homepage at www.byucougars.com/volleyball_w/.