PROVO -- A pair of revenge matches highlight the BYU women’s volleyball schedule this week as the Cougars will get a chance to avenge earlier losses to TCU and New Mexico in the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU (10-9, 3-6 MWC) will take on the Horned Frogs Friday night before facing the Lobos on Saturday. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. and be shown worldwide on BYUTV.
“We see this weekend at home as an opportunity to get back on track and to make a difference in the second half of conference play,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “We know we have what it takes to finish strong and make an impact.”
The Cougars definitely improved last week with their first win since Sept. 27 coming in a sweep at Air Force. BYU then lost in three sets at No. 3 Texas as the Longhorns proved worthy of their ranking. Junior Kayla Walker led the Cougars with 2.83 kills per set on the week while also adding 1.67 digs and 1.33 blocks per set. She paced BYU with 10 kills and six blocks at Air Force. Sophomore libero Melissa Lake tied her career high with 18 digs against the Falcons. Despite losing their last three matches at home, the Cougars have typically played well in the Smith Fieldhouse, winning their first four matches on Elaine Michaelis Court this season and going 33-4 at home over the three prior years.
The TCU Horned Frogs are 17-6 overall and 6-4 in MWC play this season after reeling off 10 straight wins to begin the year. Junior outside hitter Lauren Otto leads the team and is tied for fifth in the MWC with 3.13 kills per set while contributing 2.55 digs per set. Sophomore rightside hitter Christy Hudson is hitting .333 on the year to rank fifth in the league followed closely by senior middle blocker Devon Kirk at .326, sixth in the MWC. The Horned Frog block is led by junior middle blocker Kourtney Edwards, who is tied for sixth in the conference with 1.19 bps. Junior Katelyn Blackwood is third in the MWC at 3.94 dps. As a team, TCU paces the league with 1.45 service aces per set. BYU is 11-1 against the Horned Frogs after losing at TCU on Oct. 4.
The New Mexico Lobos are 17-4 so far this season and 7-3 in the MWC after winning their first eight matches of the year. Two of the Lobos’ losses came against ranked teams in No. 2 Nebraska and No. 13 Colorado State. Senior outside hitter Jeanne Fairchild leads the team and the MWC in kills with 4.82 per set and points at 5.20. Senior libero Gayle Tripp is second in the conference with 4.65 digs per set while sophomore setter Jade Michaelson ranks second in the MWC at 10.89 assists per set. Junior middle blocker Anna Lehne leads the team in blocks (1.41), which both rank third in the league. As a team, UNM paces the MWC in opponent hitting percentage (.137). BYU leads the all-time series 62-9 including a loss at New Mexico on Oct. 2.
In addition to live coverage on BYU-TV, both matches will also be available on BYU All-Access and GameTracker. Links to these options can be found by going to the schedule page of the BYU women’s volleyball homepage at http://www.byucougars.com/Schedule.jsp?SP=202.