Tourney Time for Cougar Volleyball

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They made it past the first round of the NCAA tournament, but the women’s volleyball team isn’t done just yet. They’d won seven straight games leading up to the tournament, and they rose to the challenge, beating Seton Hall in three sets to make it eight straight.

Dominating–that’s what BYU has been doing all season. They clinched a West Coast Conference title by a huge three game margin and raked in postseason awards and honors. But head coach Shawn Olmstead is modest about winning WCC Co-Coach of the year.

“It’s an award for my coaches behind the scenes grinding every day to prepare our kids and make sure we’re ready to play.”

Sophomore Whitney Young’s best-in-the-nation blocking skills earned her the title of Defensive Player of the Year, and teammate Alexa Gray took home the top honor: Player of the Year.

“They’ve worked hard and I’ve worked hard and we’re all just making each other better, so I really owe it to my team.”

Last year Gray led her team to the Sweet 16 even without the help of All-American Jen Hamson, who was taking the season off to play basketball. This year, they’re all back together at the tournament and hoping to repeat their success.

“It’s a battle each game; every team is really competitive,” Gray said. “We just have to bring our “A” game and peak at the right moment.”

Young says there’s not much teams can do to prep for a defense like BYU’s.

“Other teams know we’re top in the nation in blocking so I think they’ll try to avoid that, but there’s times when you just can’t,” Young said. “So I think it’ll be good and I’m really excited to put it all out there.”

The Cougars don’t get much time to recover, since they play Arizona tonight at 5:30. Arizaon swept Yale in three sets to advance to this game. Although it will be at Arizona’s home court, Young and Gray are both confident that as long as their team plays their best, they’ll go far in the tournament.

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