The NCAA women’s volleyball tournament starts tonight at the Smith Field House for BYU.
BYU will take on Stony Brook in the first round of the tournament tonight. This comes after receiving the fourth overall seed in the NCAA tournament and winning a fifth straight West Coast Conference title.
BYU finished the regular season with a 27-1 record. The only loss comes from their final match of the season at Loyola Marymount. The team swept the WCC yearly awards as Roni Jones-Perry was named Player of the Year, Mary Lake was named Defender of the Year, Heather Gnieting was named Freshman of the Year, and Coach Heather Olmstead was awarded Coach of the Year. Jones-Perry, Lake and Gnieting join Lyndie Haddock-Eppich and Mckenna Miller on the All-WCC team.
The Cougars were ranked number one in the country for 11 straight weeks while on their 27 match win streak.
After a heart breaking loss to Kentucky in last years Sweet Sixteen, the Cougars are hopeful for a different result in this year’s tournament.
“The tournament can get in your head if you let it but our coaching staff has done a really good job at reminding us that it is just game by game, point by point and you can’t control anything else but that,” said Mary Lake, Junior Libero.
Stony Brook, out of New York, finished with a 21-8 record and went undefeated in their conference.
“They are a good team, we know that they have a couple big hitters,” said Jones-Perry. “They won the American-East conference so they obviously had a really good season this year so I think it’s going to be a great match.”
While Lake and Jones-Perry say that their focus is to just concentrate on what is happening in the moment, they can’t help but be excited to play at home for the ROC.
“BYU is the best and I feel really grateful for how much support we feel from fans cause no one else in the country does women’s volleyball have that much support,” said Lake.
Jones-Perry said, “Our fans have been incredible this year and its been something really cool to be a part of and so we are hoping they turn out this weekend. It’s going to be fun.”
If BYU wins, they will play Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Filed House against the winner of the Denver-Utah match. The BYU game starts at 7 p.m. tonight but if you can’t make it, you can catch it on BYU TV.