2019 BYU women’s volleyball schedule headlined by trio of top matchups

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Colin Wylie
Players celebrate after a key block by Lacy Haddock and Kennedy Eschenberg during the women’s volleyball semifinal game against Stanford in Minneapolis on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Colin Wylie)

The 2019 BYU women’s volleyball schedule was announced on June 3, headlined by a trio of matchups against teams that finished with top 15 rankings following the 2018 season.

BYU will start its 2019 campaign by hosting the Nike Invitational in the Smith Fieldhouse, starting on Aug. 30. This invitational will feature BYU, Boise State, Utah Valley and a Marquette team that finished the 2018 season ranked No. 15 while reaching the Sweet 16.

The Cougars will host the BYU Invitational the following weekend on Sep. 5, with Long Island, Sam Houston State and Weber State visiting Provo. These three opponents boasted an overall record of 55-27 during the 2018 season, good enough for a 0.671 win percentage.

BYU women’s volleyball will wrap up their invitational schedule on the weekend of Sept. 14 as they take part in the Wichita Invitational. This invitational will consist of BYU, Wichita State, VCU and Texas, with the BYU-Texas matchup being a rematch of the 2018 Elite 8 game where the Cougars swept the Longhorns in Provo. Texas finished the season ranked No. 5.

Before conference play begins, BYU will take on Utah in Salt Lake City on Sept. 19. The team will immediately get on a plane to fly to Stanford, where they will face last year’s national champion. BYU beat Stanford on Aug. 31 in the Smith Fieldhouse, handing the Cardinal their only loss of 2018. Stanford would get its revenge by sweeping BYU in the Final Four later in the season and winning the national championship in Minneapolis.

Conference play begins on Sept. 26 in Spokane against Gonzaga. BYU will then take on Portland in Oregon before heading back to Provo for a matchup against Loyola Marymount. The Lions were the only team in the WCC to beat BYU last year, ending the Cougars’ bid for a perfect campaign with a sweep in the last regular season game.

Over the next two months, BYU will continue conference play with its last match of the regular season scheduled for Nov. 26 against Pepperdine in the Smith Fieldhouse. The first round of the NCAA tournament is set to take place on Dec. 6, with the national championship scheduled for Dec. 21 in PPG Paints Arena, home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

BYU finished the 2018 season ranked No. 4 overall with a 31-2 record. Four All-Americans will return for BYU, along with a strong recruiting class that was ranked No. 4 in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com.

The opponents that BYU will face during the 2019 season had a combined overall record of 369-239 in 2018, combining for a 0.607 win percentage. WCC conference opponents posted numbers much lower than that of the overall opponent averages, combining for an overall record 139-133 and a winning percentage of 0.511. Non-conference opponents recorded an overall record of 230-106, posting a 0.685 win percentage.

Only five of BYU’s 2019 foes posted a losing record during the 2018 campaign — Wichita State (14-18), Gonzaga (11-18), Pacific (13-16), San Francisco (9-20) and Santa Clara (6-24). Wichita State is the only non-conference opponent to have posted a win percentage below .500.

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