2021 women’s volleyball schedule announced
PROVO, Utah – The BYU women’s volleyball team has announced its 2021 schedule, including matches against 10 2020 NCAA Tournament teams and five in-state opponents.
The Cougars will start the season hosting the dōTERRA Classic on Aug. 27 with matches against Southern Utah and Long Island. BYU will conclude the invitational against UNLV on Aug. 28. UNLV won the 2020 Mountain West Conference title to receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament while Long Island represented the Northeast Conference at the tourney.
The following weekend, the Cougars will host the BYU Invitational presented by Zion’s Bank from Sept. 2-4. The Cougars will open the invitational against 2020 Big Sky champion and NCAA tournament team Weber State on Sept. 2. BYU will then host in-state foe Dixie State on Sept. 3 followed by Michigan State of the Big Ten on Sept. 4.
The Cougars will head to Pittsburgh for the Panther Challenge to take on three 2020 NCAA Tournament teams in their first road trip of the season. BYU will play Bowling Green and Pitt on Sept. 10 before facing High Point on Sept. 11. Pitt finished the 2020-21 season No. 8 in the final AVCA national rankings following a deep tournament run to the NCAA Round of Eight.
On Sept. 16, BYU will host Utah in the Smith Fieldhouse to resume the in-state series following a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Utes finished No. 17 in the 2020-21 final rankings after reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The two teams last met in 2019 where they split a pair of matches.
Two days later, the Cougars will head up University Parkway to play at Utah Valley in the UCCU Crosstown Clash on Sept. 18. BYU defeated the 2020 Western Athletic Conference champions last season before the Wolverines ended the season with their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
BYU will open West Coast Conference play on Sept. 23 at home against Pacific. The defending WCC champion Cougars will play each of their nine conference opponents home-and-away this year in hopes of winning their sixth league title in seven seasons. BYU, Pepperdine and San Diego are all coming off NCAA Tournament appearances last season. All three teams won at least one tournament match, with the Cougars advancing to the Sweet 16, and ended the season ranked in the top 25 in the final AVCA poll.
Following BYU’s final regular-season match on Nov. 23 at San Diego, the Cougars will look to compete in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. BYU has qualified for the postseason every year since 2012.
Five All-Americans headline this year’s BYU squad. All-Americans Taylen Ballard-Nixon, Whitney Bower and Kennedy Eschenberg return from last season’s team. The Cougars also welcome back 2018 AVCA National Freshman of the Year Heather Gneiting while adding three-time All-American Kenzie Koerber from the University of Utah.
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