Several BYU Olympic sports teams found themselves in action this weekend, including competition against in-state rivals Utah and Utah State.
Here’s the action from this past weekend
The women’s basketball team has now won eight straight games, including six wins in conference play. The Cougars, who are led by sophomore Paisley Johnson, freshman Shaylee Gonzales, and junior Brenna Chase, traveled this week to the Bay Area, and came away with two close wins at Pacific(77-74) and Saint Mary’s(74-73). Gonzales made four free throws late in the Pacific game to seal the win, and the team withstood a late rally from Saint Mary’s to complete the road trip sweep.
The Cougars currently sit atop the West Coast Conference standings with a perfect 6-0 conference record. On Monday, Johnson was named WCC Player of the Week, and is the second women’s basketball player to earn the award this season. The Cougars will play 14th-ranked Gonzaga at the Marriott Center on Thursday in a match-up of 1 vs. 2 in the conference.
Men’s Volleyball moved up one spot to fourth in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll Rankings after two home sweeps against Ohio State and Ball State. On Monday, Gabi Garcia Fernandez was named MPSF/Molten Offensive Player of the Week.
The Cougars travel this week to take on Penn State on Friday, who’s one common opponent was Ohio State. Ohio State won the match-up with Penn State, 3-1. BYU will stay in Pennsylvania the next day to play Saint Francis University. It will be the first weekend of a month long, six game road swing.
Track & Field
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released their preseason rankings this week, with BYU ranked 10th in the rankings. Both the men’s and women’s teams competed in the BYU Indoor Invitational from Thursday to Saturday, with athletes from BYU and Westminster competing. The meet was highlighted by Brenna Porter breaking the BYU 500 meter record, a record that had stood for 32 years, with a time of 1:11.58.
BYU hosted third-ranked Utah on Friday night at the Marriott Center. The Cougars scored their highest score ever in a season opener, but still fell to the Red Rocks by a score of 197.250 to 196.475. Shannon Evans led the Cougars with a score of 39.400. The Cougars will travel to Logan to take on Utah State on Friday.
The BYU Swim and Dive teams hosted Grand Canyon University at the Richards Building on Saturday morning. The women’s team won by a score of 170-101, but the men fell 130-169 to the Lopes. Both teams will travel north to Salt Lake City on January 26 to take on Utah in the Deseret First Duel.
The BYU men’s tennis team opened the season at home on Friday and Saturday, hosting Weber State and Utah. The Cougars would open with a 6-1 victory against the Wildcats on Friday, followed by a 4-0 victory over the Utes on Saturday.
Women’s tennis participated in Metroplex Mania in Dallas over the weekend. The Cougars had ten wins over the weekend, with four wins coming in doubles and six in singles. Madeline Almeida won all six of her singles matches over the weekend, and combined with Polina Malykh to post an undefeated doubles record as well.
On January 4, BYU hosted Utah State at Peaks Ice Arena. The Aggies opened strong and built a 4-2 lead through the first two periods. The Cougars came alive in the third period, scoring two goals forcing a sudden death overtime. The Cougars came out fast, and Axel Boyer scored 25 seconds into the overtime period to give the Cougars the 5-4 victory.
On Friday, BYU would travel north to Logan to take on the Aggies again. The first two sets went goalless. The Cougars opened the scoring with 13 minutes left in the period, only to have the Aggies tie things up a few minutes later. But with 9 minutes left in the period, CJ Coslett scored the game winner for the Cougars. Jared Manzella would display some incredible goalkeeping as the Cougars held on for a victory, despite multiple penalties in the final minutes. The victory is BYU’s first win over the Aggies in Logan, and their third win in four games against the Aggies during the 2018-19 season.
The team returns to Peaks Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday in a double header with CSU-Northridge.
Deseret First Duel
As a result of men’s tennis victory and gymnastics’ defeat against Utah, BYU now leads the Deseret First Duel 12-11. The next Deseret First Duel match-up is on January 26, as the swim and dive teams travel to Salt Lake City with six points on the line.