By McCall Knowlton
The undefeated BYU women?s volleyball team goes on the road this weekend to face New Mexico and Air Force.
?This will be our second weekend on the road, but the beginning of a new season as we start Mountain West Conference play,? BYU coach Jason Watson said.
The New Mexico Lobos (8-2) are coming off back-to-back weekend tournament titles and currently have a six game winning streak.
The Cougars lead the series with the Lobos (56-7-0) and with Air Force (14-1-0) and played both team last season.
?Both UNM and AFA have played a competitive schedule to date and are well prepared,? Watson said.
BYU (7-0) is coming off last weekend?s victories over Duke and Ohio State to win the Buckeye Classic Tournament.
The Cougars received 279 votes in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll coming in at No. 22 in the nation.
BYU has not been ranked since the 2002 season when they reached the No. 23 spot.
The Cougars began the season at No. 36 and have steadily advanced as their victories have accumulated. But BYU did not break into the Top 25 Poll until last weeks? win over then No. 14 Ohio State.
“Being ranked is a nice acknowledgement of the work our athletes have done and their commitment to BYU and our volleyball program,? Watson said.
The team?s ranking is not the only recognition that the team has received this season. Junior middle blocker, Lindsy Hartsock received the Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Week award.
The award is the second Hartsock has received this season and the third straight week the award has gone to a BYU player.
“When everyone contributes like we did, it”s so much easier to be successful as a team,? Hartsock said.
Hartsock tied a career-high 20 kills and .500 hitting efficiency in last weekend?s game against Ohio State helping the Cougars win in five games.
?This acknowledgement from the Mountain West Conference not only rewards Lindsy for her recent performance, but recognizes the overall performance of our team,” Watson said.
Watson said the team would look to Hartsock for further leadership and direction as the Cougars continue their successful season.
?Our team has played well during our non-conference schedule, but this weekend will bring with it a different set of challenges,? Watson said.
The Cougars will face those challenges beginning with matches with the University of New Mexico Friday and The Air Force Academy Saturday.