The BYU women’s volleyball team is eager to keep up the momentum and success this upcoming year after completing last year’s season with a No. 3 rank in the NCAA tournament.
“Our goals are to improve daily,” BYU women’s volleyball head coach Heather Olmstead said. “We want to win the West Coast Conference for sure. We’d like to go deep in the NCAA tournament as well.”
Although the team graduated many players including Jennifer Hamson, Tambre Nobles and Tia Withers Welling, the current team members remain confident in their ability to fill the missing roles and have equal success. Sophomore Cosy Burnett is expected to replace the position of Hamson, a former teammate and powerful outside hitter.
Burnett said she understands the expectations and is preparing herself to make a positive impact equal to Hamson.
“I just really want to improve. I’m stepping into a new role this season,” Burnett said. “I do a little every day. I focus on little changes I need to make. Just take one day at a time. That’s what really helps me.”
Experienced players also have high expectations. Junior middle blocker Whitney Young Howard has set personal goals for herself as a member of the team. Last year Howard was named All-America Second Team by Volleyball Magazine. This year Howard said she’s making improvements to accomplish those goals.
“I want to be an All-American,” said Howard. “I want to be a consistent member of the team, and I want people to be confident that I’ll do well when I’m on the court.”
Both women are eager for what lies ahead this upcoming season, especially because of the special bond between the teammates.
“I’m just excited to play with these girls,” Burnett said. “Our relationships mean the world to me.”
The 2015 season will be both challenging and exciting for the team. Cougar fans can look forward to games against Utah, San Diego and Oregon State. When asked what major games the team was looking forward to, Olmstead shook her head.
“No game is more important than the other,” Olmstead said. “We say that our next game is the most important game of the season. You’ve got to win.”
With their vision and optimistic goals in mind, the BYU women’s volleyball team appears to be well on their way towards success that will not only reach but exceed last year’s accomplishments. Three home games in a row begin with Idaho State on Sept. 9 and continue with Oregon State on Sept. 11 and 12.