No. 11 BYU women’s volleyball prepares for California

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The BYU women’s volleyball team moved up once again in rankings to No. 11 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll Monday.

The team just came out of their first two matches of the West Coast Conference against Gonzaga and No. 18 Pepperdine with 3-0 sweeps last weekend. The wins made the Cougars’ undefeated record an impressive 14-0 for the season with eight straight sweeps and 11 sweeps overall

Junior Jennifer Hamson said the team is happy with their record and how the start of the season has gone.

“We’re happy that we’re doing well, so it’s been great,” Hamson said. “We’ve been working hard and we try to stay focused, one game at a time.”

Senior Nicole Warner goes up for a kill against Gonzaga.

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The Cougars will travel to California this weekend where they will take on opponents San Francisco and Saint Mary’s. This will be the Cougars first road trip of the conference.

Olmstead said the team is excited for the trip, but they need to practice and prepare for it.

“We got to get back in the gym and improve on some things,” Olmstead said after last weekend’s matches. “Road trips here in the West Coast Conference are tough. We’re going to play a really good San Francisco and a really good Saint Mary’s team. So we’re looking forward to finally hitting the road, but we understand it’s going to be tough and it’s going to be good competition.”

The Cougars will take on San Francisco Thursday at 6:30 p.m. PDT. The Cougars played San Francisco twice last season and beat them both times with 3-1 match scores.

Senior Nicole Warner said the Cougars are going to have to stay focused and take care of business when it comes to their game plan because San Francisco has a solid team.

“They always put up a really good fight,” Warner said. “So we’ll have some good competition when we go down there. No matter what, every team is going to want to beat us now that we’re ranked so high, so I think it’s all about our game and what we can do and contribute on the court.”

The Cougars will then face off against Saint Mary’s on Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT. Last season the Cougars won at home 3-0, but when they traveled away from Provo, St. Mary’s returned the favor with their own sweep of the Cougars. St. Mary’s also swept the Cougars in the BYU Invitational last preseason.

Olmstead said the Saint Mary’s team is effective and well coached, but the Cougars preparations for Saint Mary’s are the same as for the other teams they have played this season.

“Our preparations are no different for them than anyone else,” Olmstead said. “It’s important what we do on our side and we’d like to have an idea of what they’re going to do. When that match comes it’ll be good.”

The match against San Francisco, at the War Memorial Gym, can be viewed or listened to on the University of San Francisco athletics page. Video of the match against Saint Mary’s, played at McKeon Pavilion, will be available on the athletic site of Saint Mary’s College. Live stats will also be provided on the pages for both matches.

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