By Angela Wallace
The BYU women”s volleyball team will take to the road to face another in-state opponent, Utah State, set to play today at 6 p.m. in Logan.
Although the Cougars lost a four-game battle with notorious rival Utah last weekend, they”ll be looking for revenge against the Aggies.
“We always try to play all the in-state schools,” BYU coach Karen Lamb said. “Beating Utah State is usually difficult. They”re a good team, but I think they”re a little bit down this year.”
So far this season, USU has posted a grim 2-7 record, including a winless 0-3 record in the Big West Conference. Last year, the Aggies tallied an 18-12 record, going 10-8 in conference matches.
The Cougars lead this in-state rivalry 46 wins to 12 losses after dropping the Aggies last season with a 3-2 match-win.
“They”re always up to play us,” Lamb said. “We always like to win the battle of the Utah schools.”
The biggest threat on this young Utah State team is Zuzana Cernianska, a 6-1 right-side hitter who earned first-team All-Big West honors last year.
“They have a really good right-side hitter, who also sets for them,” Lamb said. “She”s from the Czech Republic. They set her a lot, so that”ll be our biggest challenge to stop her. They also set the outside a lot, but I think stopping Zuzana will be key for us.”
On BYU”s side of the net, the Cougars look to bounce back from a tough four-game loss to Utah and execute well throughout the entire match.
“We just need to play our game,” Lamb said. “We need to not worry about trying to do too much. We”re kind of frustrated at this point in the season. We just need to do good things and not push too hard at the end of matches.”
The Cougars will be looking for leadership from juniors Lauren Richards and Kim Wilson, who have led the team in assists and kills this season, respectively. BYU will also look to junior Lexi Brown and sophomore Lindsy Hartsock for a spark in the Cougars” offense.
BYU also has two Mountain West Conference matches lined up for Thursday and Saturday against New Mexico and Air Force, respectively, and will look for three road wins to counter a three-match losing streak.