BYU women’s volleyball readies for Big 12 conference play

BYU women’s volleyball opens up conference play Wednesday at home in a top 25 matchup against No. 20 Houston.

Last season, the Cougars held an impressive 22-7 overall record and a 15-3 mark in WCC play. They finished second in the conference and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The opening of Big 12 conference play has been highly anticipated since BYU officially joined the Big 12 on July 1. BYU’s Whitney Bower and Erin Livingston were selected to the All-Big 12 Preseason Team, with Erin Livingston receiving a unanimous selection. With nine returning players and six new freshmen, the Cougars roster is well equipped for conference play and aims to contend for a Big 12 conference title.

Before the season, all of the Big 12 coaches predicted the final conference standings. The Cougars were expected to finish second in the conference, just behind Texas and even received one first place vote. Texas, which has been projected to finish first each of the last 13 seasons, is coming off a 2022 National Champtionship. BYU will travel to Texas to face the Longhorns for two matches at the end of September.

School (First Place Votes) Points
1. Texas (12)144
2. BYU (1) 125
3. Baylor  123
4. TCU     106
5. Kansas 105
6. Houston91
7. Iowa State81
8. K-State 63
9. UCF51
10. Oklahoma45
11. Texas Tech37
12. Cincinnati 23
13. West Virginia20

BYU concluded non-conference play with an impressive 11-1 record. This week, BYU is ranked 10th in the AVCA poll. 

Wednesday’s matchup with Houston will set the tone for conference play. Both BYU and Houston are in their inaugural seasons as Big 12 members along with UCF and Cincinnati.

On “BYU Sports Nation” in May, head coach Heather Olmstead said, “There are a lot of good teams in the Big 12, and we’re going to have our hands full and we’re excited for the challenge.” Olmstead holds the highest winning percentage for any coach in Division-I and won the national coach of the year award in 2018. 

Olmstead’s eighth season will be the most challenging yet, with BYU entering Big 12 play, but BYU is up for the challenge. Tune in to ESPN2 Wednesday night at 7 p.m. MST to see the Cougars open up Big 12 play.

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