Sophomore middle blocker Rachel Dyer currently leads the league and ranks 16th in the nation in hitting percentage. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The No. 18 BYU women's volleyball team will hit the road this weekend as the Cougars travel to face New Mexico on Friday at 7 p.m. MT and TCU on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT in more Mountain West Conference action.
"This is a challenging weekend for our team," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "We need to be prepared to go on the road and face two very competitive volleyball programs. November is a crucial month as teams vie for postseason opportunities. Every match we have left is critical to our postseason expectations."
With a 19-3 overall record and 9-2 MWC mark, BYU is currently tied for second place in the league standings with Colorado State with five regular-season league matches remaining, including a Nov. 17 showdown at CSU. With all of their starters back in the lineup, the Cougars will look to set themselves up for postseason play over the next three weeks with wins down the stretch.
In preparing for postseason action, BYU will benefit from the play of several team and MWC leaders. Of the seven overall statistical categories tracked by the league, Cougar players lead the league in four of them (hitting percentage -- Rachel Dyer; kills -- Chelsea Goodman; assists -- Amy Schlauder; points -- Chelsea Goodman) and are second in one other (blocks -- Lindsy Hartsock). Goodman is also ranked seventh in aces. BYU packs one-two punches in two categories as Dyer and Hartsock rank first and second, respectively, in hitting percentage; and Goodman and Lott rank first and second, respectively, in kills
The Lobos are 7-17 overall this season and 3-9 so far in Mountain West Conference play with their lone road win coming at Air Force. Sophomore outside hitter Jeanne Fairchild leads the Lobo attack with 3.01 kills per game. Sophomore libero Gayle Tripp ranks fourth in the league with 4.36 digs per game while the UNM block is led by sophomore Joelle Ingram at 1.11 per game. As a team, the Lobos hit .144 while allowing opponents a .207 mark.
The Horned Frogs are 17-10 overall and 5-7 so far this season in Mountain West Conference play, including a five-game loss at BYU earlier this season. Junior middle blocker Anna Vaughn currently leads TCU and is seventh in the league with 3.54 kills per game on .350 hitting, fourth in the conference. Vaughn also leads the team in blocks averaging 1.04 bpg. Libero Calli Corley is third in the MWC with 4.53 digs per game. As a team, TCU hits .236 on the year while holding opponents to a .192 mark. The Horned Frogs also lead the conference in aces as four of their players rank in the top ten in league play.
Fans will be able to follow live stats of both matches via GameTracker, which is available by going to the schedule page of the BYU women's volleyball homepage at http://www.byucougars.com/volleyball_w/. The match is also scheduled to be broadcast live over the Internet to all CSTV XXL subscribers.