Volleyball takes on MWC leaders

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    By Matthew Montague

    The BYU women”s volleyball team travels to play Mountain West Conference leader Colorado State on Friday Oct. 18 and Wyoming on Saturday Oct. 19.

    BYU has had a difficult time finding a way to win on the road. The team is 1-5 away from the Smith Fieldhouse. Last week the Cougars lost both matches on their road trip at Utah State and against No. 16 Utah.

    “Injury and inexperience could be excuses for our record, but I”m not making any excuses,” BYU head coach Karen Lamb said.

    “We want to win, but we also want to improve and come together as a team. The losses don”t bother me as much, as long as we”re competing hard and continuing to improve.”

    The Cougars are currently 2-3 in MWC play and 7-12 overall.

    The competition doesn”t get any easier for the Cougars this week.

    Colorado State has won six of its last seven and has not lost in conference play with a record of 5-0.

    The Cougars hold a 42-12-1 all-time mark against the Rams and are 15-8 in Fort Collins. However CSU swept BYU in both matches last year. The Rams have won 22 of their last 23 and 31 of last 33 regular season conference matches.

    In their last match against New Mexico, the Rams had four players with double-digit kills and an attack percentage greater than .300. Freshman outside hitter Tess Rogers led the team with 20 kills and an attack percentage of .302.

    Sophomore setter Melissa Courtney had a team high 60 assists in the New Mexico match.

    Wyoming is also playing very well this year. They are off to one of their best starts ever with an overall record of 16-4. The Cowgirls recently had an 11-match winning streak snapped by San Diego State, but have won 12 of their last 14.

    BYU holds a 50-3 all-time record versus Wyoming, including a 19-2 record in Laramie. The Cougars swept all three meetings last year, and currently enjoy a 25-match winning streak against the Cowgirls dating back to 1990.

    BYU has swept the last 12 meetings between the two teams. In their last match against New Mexico three Cowgirls hit in double-figures, including junior outside hitter Michele Rauter.

    Rauter finished with 21 kills, a season high 23 digs and a .410 attack percentage and was named MWC player of the week.

    Sophomore outside hitter Sara Maytorena also finished with 21 kills and a .188 attack percentage. Freshman outside hitter Lindsey Roebken had a career high 12 kills.

    “To be successful and win matches this weekend we need to serve and pass well,” Lamb said. “We”ve been blocking and playing solid defense for the most part, but we”re getting better offensively. This team will be a late bloomer and there”s a real possibility that we will do very well as the season progresses.”

    BYU returns home next week to battle against UNLV, Oct. 25, and San Diego State, Oct. 26.

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