Senior middle blocker Lindsy Hartsock and senior outside hitter Kim Sorensen will be honored prior to Saturday night's match against Wyoming. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Senior Night To Honor Hartsock and Sorensen
PROVO -- In what will be the final two home matches of the season, the No. 21 BYU women's volleyball team (20-4, 10-3 MWC) will host Nevada on Thursday night at 5 p.m. before taking on Wyoming Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars' match against the Cowgirls will also be Senior Night as BYU honors its two outgoing seniors.
"Our goal is always to end better than we start, and this weekend will be a great chance for us to make that happen as we approach the end of the regular season," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "There are still a lot of things to be decided both in the conference race and with respect to the NCAA Tournament. We plan on being heavily involved in both discussions and need to play well this weekend in order to do that."
BYU's Senior Night celebration will pay tribute to the outstanding careers to two Cougar greats - Lindsy Hartsock and Kim Sorensen. Hartsock, a 2005 All-American, is a three-time All-Mountain West Conference selection in addition to receiving 2003 Freshman of the Year and 2005 Player of the Year honors. She is on pace to finish fourth all-time at BYU in career blocks, career block assists and career block average. The 2004 Collegiate Volleyball Update Magazine Blocker of the Year is third all-time in season blocks per game (1.86 in 2004) and season hitting percentage (.444 in 2005). Sorensen, a 2004 All-MWC selection, has been named to multiple all-tournament teams during her BYU career and has ranked in the top 10 in the MWC statistical categories several times.
Both seniors, who represent the first class Coach Watson has ever coached throughout their college careers, will be honored prior to the match.
"Our senior class has certainly risen to the challenge to end better than we start," said Watson. "They will always be special to me. We began our careers together at BYU. It has passed by too quickly. I am honored to have been a part of their athletic careers and look forward to watching them continue to push our team to a great finish."
The weekend will also be the last time the Cougars will appear on Elaine Michaelis court this regular season. BYU is 10-1 this season at home with an attendance average of 2,038, which ranks 11th in the nation. The Cougars began their home season hosting a Cougar women's volleyball record 4,050 fans in their win over No. 4 Stanford. BYU fans broke that record on Sept. 29 as 4,455 Cougar faithful packed the Smith Fieldhouse to see the Cougars take on in-state rival and then-18th-ranked Utah. BYU is now 458-82 (.848) all-time at home and 20-1 on Elaine Michaelis Court over the last two years.
BYU will step out of MWC play to begin the week taking on Nevada. The Wolfpack is 15-10 this season and 9-4 in the WAC, including a sweep of BYU-opponent Utah State and a three-game loss at UNLV. Nevada is led by junior Teal Ericson with 4.13 kills per game. Sophomore libero Allison Hernandez paces the Wolfpack with 2.96 dpg. Junior middle blocker Karly Sipherd leads the Nevada block with 1.30 bpg and hits a team-leading .285. As a team, the Wolfpack hit .192 while allowing opponents a .203 mark.
League play will resume for the Cougars on Saturday against Wyoming. The Cowgirls are 11-12 overall and 5-7 so far in conference play including a five-game loss at BYU earlier this season. Junior Rachel Smith leads the team and is sixth in the conference in kills per game with 3.65. Freshman libero Micah Lines ranks sixth in the league putting up 3.77 digs per game. Senior Andrea Seele leads the Cowgirl block with 1.05 per game. As a team, Wyoming hits .189 while allowing opponents a .210 efficiency. The Cowgirls are third in the league in digs with 16.13 per game.
Fans of BYU women's volleyball can catch all the action of this weekend's match via live stats or a live Internet video stream available to all BYU Cougars All-Access and/or CSTV XXL subscribers (Saturday ONLY). Links for both can be found by going to the Schedule page of the BYU women's volleyball homepage at www.byucougars.com.