The No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball team is preparing for West Coast Conference play when they face off against Santa Clara on Thursday, Sept. 22.
The team is coming off of two-straight wins and head coach Heather Olmstead hopes they can continue building momentum. After handing UNLV its first loss of the season on Sept. 17, Olmstead described the games as “great” preparation for WCC play.
Santa Clara is one of two conference games that BYU lost in the 2015 season. In the past four years the teams have split each of their match ups, as each team has won on its home court. Coming off a weekend of sweeping three teams, BYU is looking to carry the momentum into their first conference game of the season.
Senior Amy Boswell shared that the 11-1 Cougars are motivated by the start they have gotten off to this season, but know that there is still a lot of room for improvement.
“I think for us as a team it’s really exciting because honestly a lot of people thought we weren’t going to be good this year. We might not have gotten the rankings or the preseason picks to win the conference,” Boswell said. “But we took that and said ‘okay let’s work with it,’ and we’ve been working really hard to improve.”
Freshman Mckenna Miller echoed Boswell’s same desire to not be overlooked and hopefully win the conference.
“People don’t expect us to win our conference, so it would be really fun to prove everyone wrong,” Miller said.
The WCC consists of 10 team, which include Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary’s, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara.
BYU is one of two teams in the WCC to be currently ranked in the Top 25. BYU is ranked No. 11 in the nation while Loyola Marymount is ranked No. 19. The Cougars have finished the past two seasons with the best record in the WCC.
“We’ve come to realize that everybody wants a piece of us,” Boswell said. “We can’t overlook anybody. Everybody is going to give us the game of their life.”
Boswell also shared that the coaches often remind the team not to get caught up in rankings but to remain focused on improving and the next task at hand.
The Cougars will play at home every other week throughout the remainder of the regular season. They will finish their conference by playing Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount on their respective home courts which are the only two games they lost last season.
BYU will play Santa Clara Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Smith Field House, they will then take on San Francisco Saturday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m.