Longtime rivals BYU and Utah might very effectively be headed in the direction of a second-round collision inside the NCAA Ladies’s Volleyball Match this Saturday, nevertheless first ought to get earlier first-round matches on Friday in the direction of Stony Brook and Denver, respectively.
The No. 1-ranked Cougars feared that Tuesday’s stunning loss to Loyola Marymount, their first defeat of the season, would worth them a excessive seed inside the NCAA match.
Nevertheless these fears turned out to be unfounded Sunday as BYU (27-1) earned a No. 1 seed from the NCAA Alternative Committee.
The No. 1 seed means the Cougars, the final fourth seed, will host the third and fourth rounds of the match within the occasion that they survive the first weekend at Smith Fieldhouse.
“You on no account know what the committee goes to resolve,” BYU coach Heather Olmstead talked about on the selection current. “They’ve a really strong job. We’re thrilled. We’re excited. We identical to the schedule we put collectively, clearly our nonconference schedule after which our conference schedule. … We thought that whatever the committee decided is what we had been going to associate with.”
If BYU (27-1) beats Stony Brook (21-Eight) and Utah (18-13) downs Denver (27-2) in Friday’s doubleheader, the rivals will meet Saturday at Smith Fieldhouse.
The Utes outlasted Denver in 5 models in August on the Huntsman Coronary heart, profitable the fifth set 16-14. The Pioneers went unbeaten for virtually three months, sooner than dropping to South Dakota in 5 models inside the final match of the Summit League match in Denver.
“I can’t even start to consider they’re remotely the similar crew now, and I do know we aren’t,” talked about Ute coach Beth Launiere, noting she’ll consider that tape from August, nevertheless will focus additional on the Pioneers’ newest matches.
As for her private crew, the Utes succeeded with “a progress mindset,” Launiere talked about, with specific individual enchancment enabling them to wrestle by way of the troublesome Pac-12 schedule.
Utah (18-13) went 5-1 to finish Pac-12 play with a 10-10 file, good for a three-way tie for sixth place. The Utes gained their remaining three matches, along with a sweep of No. 15 USC on the freeway Wednesday. Utah then beat Colorado in four models at home Friday, turning into a member of the Buffaloes inside the tie for sixth in a rewarding season that validated what Ute coaches and administrators want to say: Any crew that ranks inside the heart tier of the Pac-12 typically is a nationwide match qualifier.
Utah made lineup modifications by way of the season in search of the suitable combination, “and we found it on the end,” Launiere talked about. “We merely knew that this group wanted to develop and get increased, and we merely saved educating.
BYU swept Utah by scores of 25-20, 25-14 and 25-17 on Sept. 13 in Provo, nevertheless the Cougars had been at full energy once more then.
Star outside hitter McKenna Miller sustained a season-ending ACL hurt all through a Three-Zero win over Santa Clara on Nov. Eight. The Cougars defeated San Francisco, Saint Mary’s and Pacific in her absence, nevertheless clearly weren’t as extremely efficient and struggled offensively inside the Three-Zero loss to LMU.
“McKenna was such an infinite part of our crew, nevertheless we’ve obtained an entire lot of girls who had been capable of step up and play,” Olmstead talked about. “We predict the ability of our crew is our crew.”
Stanford (28-1) is the final excessive seed, its solely loss coming to BYU early inside the season in Provo. Minnesota and Illinois are the other excessive seeds.
“What an unbelievable season [BYU] had,” talked about ESPNU volleyball analyst Nell Fortner. “BYU is a very strong place to play, so anybody going into their house goes to must beat a very loud and raucous crowd.”
The Utes are led by sophomore Dani Drews, who broke school knowledge for kills in each of the ultimate two matches (based on the number of models). The earlier Dani Barton is the sister of Ute soccer avid gamers Cody and Jackson Barton, who will most likely be having fun with in the direction of Washington in Friday’s Pac-12 championship sport at Santa Clara, Calif.
Solely 10 colleges have gained an NCAA title, and no woman has ever coached a crew to the championship. The semifinals and finals are Dec. 13 and Dec. 15 in Minneapolis, Minn.
NCAA volleyball tournamentFirst-round matches, Friday at BYU’s Smith Fieldhouse.4 p.m. • Utah (18-13) vs. Denver (27-2)7 p.m. • BYU (27-1) vs. Stony Brook (21-Eight)Second spherical • Saturday, 7 p.m.