While Cougar nation is looking for answers for Dave Rose's squad, others can take pride in the accomplishments of the 12-2 women's basketball team. After their 10 point win against Utah State before Christmas, the Lady Cougars kept their momentum last week with two wins to start off conference play. Both home games, BYU was able to beat LMU by 18 points and then put away Pepperdine by 15, all before the new year. Perhaps a little tired after the new year, BYU hosted Pacific last night but was unable to secure the win, falling 62-75.
That loss puts BYU with a 2-1 conference record and tied for second place. They currently share second play with Saint Mary's but that will soon be decided as BYU hosts Saint Mary's this weekend, Saturday January 4th at 2:00 MST, the game will be broadcast on BYUtv and BYUtv.com. A big game for conference dominance, give it a glance if you have some time on Saturday.
Also of note in relation to the Lady Cougars, ESPNW ran an article talking about the strength of the West Coast Conference this season and specifically called out Jennifer Hamson as perhaps the best center in the nation.
The men's volleyball team is hoping to have a strong start to their season too, but that is a tall order and won't come without a challenge. The #3 BYU men's volleyball team started their season with exhibition matches against the University of Winnipeg last week, winning both matches on Friday and Saturday night. Playing a middle tier Canadian team was a very small warm up for what the Cougars have coming this weekend. The Cougars will be thrust into the thick of things with a road trip to Illinois where they will take on #7 Loyola tonight and #10 Lewis on Saturday.
The Cougars are hoping to visit Loyola again later this year when the NCAA championships are being held at Loyola's Alumni Gym and their road to the tournament starts with wins this weekend. BYU has been able to play well against top ranked teams and has a real shot at the title again this year. Even without freshmen sensation Ben Patch (who left on an LDS mission this summer) the Cougars have several returning stars including perhaps the biggest star, Taylor Sander who racked up 29 kills over last weekend's games.
Both games this weekend will be available on internet stream, for those interested check out the links on the BYU Volleyball page, games start at 7:00 CST (6:00 MST). If BYU can win out this weekend there is a chance they can bump up their ranking, as the #1 team, UC Irvine, also took a trip to Illinois this week and came away losing to Loyola. If BYU can get two big wins to start the season it will set them up to take control of their conference and hopefully a return trip to Chicago in May.
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