BYU women’s volleyball to host first two rounds of NCAA tournament

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Amy Boswell celebrates after a Cougar point. Boswell and the Cougars were named a No. 13 seed in the NCAA tournament. (BYU Photo)
Amy Boswell celebrates after a Cougar point. Boswell and the Cougars were named a No. 13 seed in the NCAA tournament. (BYU Photo)

No. 13 seed BYU women’s volleyball will host the first two rounds of the 2016 NCAA tournament and will start by playing unranked Princeton.

“I’m thrilled for the team to be able to play at home again in front of our great crowd,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said.

The Cougars will play Princeton at the Smith Field House on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. If BYU wins they will move on to the second round and will play the winner of the match between UNLV and Utah on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.

BYU, Princeton, UNLV and Utah are part of the Texas Region. Saturday’s winner will advance to the regional semifinals on Dec. 9 which will be held at the University of Texas at Austin.

BYU is the No. 13 seed in the tournament for the second straight season. In 2015 the Cougars advanced to the regional semifinals for the fourth straight season.

“We’re excited to play Princeton in the first round. We’re familiar with both UNLV and Utah, but we’re focused on the Tigers,” Olmstead said.

This is Princeton’s first tournament appearance since 2007 and the Tigers have finished their season at 19-4. The Cougars hold a perfect 3-0 record in their meetings against the Tigers, most recently beating them in a sweep in 2012.

The Utes beat the Cougars at home earlier this season in five sets. However, the Cougars hold a 69-30 record in the all time series. Utah finished their season 20-11.

BYU has also played UNLV early this year and defeated the Rebels in three sets on their home court which was their first loss of the season. UNLV finished their season with an overall record of 23-7. Out of the 34 match ups between BYU and UNLV the Cougars have only lost six games.

Looking ahead, the semifinal and championship games will be held in Columbus, Ohio on Dec. 15 and 17. Earlier this season the Cougars played in and won the Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic at the Nationwide Arena on the same court the championship game will be played.

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