The BYU women's volleyball team will head to Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference Tournament this week. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The No. 20 BYU women's volleyball team will begin postseason play this week as the Cougars travel to the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas. The second-seeded BYU squad will face seventh-seeded San Diego State in a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday, which can be seen live on the mtn.
"This is an important week for our program," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "Our athletes are excited to be entering this stage of the season. We all understand the importance of the conference tournament and the need to play well in November. Our challenge will be to play well, stay composed and to compete at a high level."
BYU's match against the Aztecs is scheduled to begin approximately 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first quarterfinal match pitting third-seeded Colorado State and sixth-seeded TCU, which is set to start at 11 a.m. PT. Should BYU advance, the Cougars will play the winner of the Ram-Horned Frog contest on Friday at 1:30 p.m. PT. The Championship match is scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m. PT.
The Cougars enter this year's MWC Tournament with high hopes for a title. BYU also entered the 2000 Tournament as the second seed, winning the title over top-seeded Colorado State. BYU has never lost in the quarterfinals of the Tournament.
Of the seven overall statistical categories tracked by the Mountain West Conference, BYU players lead the league in four of them (hitting percentage -- Lindsy Hartsock; kills -- Chelsea Goodman; assists -- Amy Schlauder; points -- Chelsea Goodman). Goodman has recorded an MWC-leading 16 double-doubles on the year out of 26 matches in which she has played. With 32 career double-doubles, Goodman is currently fourth on the MWC's all-time double-double list.
BYU swept the season series against the Aztecs this year with a four-game win in San Diego on Sept. 21 and a sweep in Provo on Oct. 21. BYU owns a 33-15 series advantage over the Aztecs and has won the last nine matches between the two teams, seven of which have been sweeps. The Cougars also have winning all-time records against both of their potential semifinal opponents and swept the season series against both teams. Overall, BYU swept the season series against six of its eight MWC opponents and has winning records against all eight.
SDSU (11-17, 5-11) is fourth in the league in blocks (2.74). Aime Cordeiro leads the MWC in digs per game with 5.37 while Melanie Greene paces the Aztecs and ranks sixth in the conference in kills (3.72). Kelley Wahlin is tied for fourth in the league in blocks (1.39) with BYU's Rachel Dyer.
For the seventh straight year, the Mountain West Volleyball Championship will be televised, with the mtn. -- MountainWest Sports Network and College Sports Television providing the coverage. All four of Thursday's quarterfinal matches and Friday's first semifinal contest will be shown live on the mtn., with the second semifinal to be shown via same day tape delay at 9:30 p.m. (PT) on the mtn. For the third straight season, the MWC Tournament championship match will be broadcast live nationally on College Sports Television (CSTV). To supplement CSTV's national coverage, the championship contest will also be streamed live as part of the CSTV All-Access package, available on the CSTV (www.cstv.com) and MWC (www.themwc.com) Web sites. Live stats will be available for all of BYU's Tournament matches and can be found by going to the Schedule page of the BYU women's volleyball homepage at http://www.byucougars.com/volleyball_w/.