The BYU women’s volleyball team was rewarded for a successful season with a 12th seed and home court for at least Friday’s opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Should the Cougars defeat Western Athletic Conference tournament champion New Mexico State, they would advance against either Oklahoma or Arizona State on Saturday. The Sooners and ASU play at 5 p.m. Friday in the Smith Fieldhouse, followed by BYU and NMSU at 7:30 p.m.
As champions of the West Coast Conference, the Cougars (26-3) earned an automatic bid into the field of 64. The WCC sent six teams to the tournament, second only to the Pac-12’s seven. Penn State, Stanford, Texas and Nebraska were the tournament’s No. 1 seeds.
The championship is scheduled for Dec. 13 and 15 in Louisville, Ky.
“I feel like we deserved a seed,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “With the season we put together, I felt like we did enough work to get a seed.”
New Mexico State (22-10) upset Utah State then defeated Idaho 3-1 for the WAC Tournament title. The Aggies are led by Meredith Hays with 441 kills and Desiree Scott, who hits at a .378 percentage.
BYU outside hitter Nicole Warner leads the nation with 178 blocks, while opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson has 410 kills and 125 blocks. Freshman Alexa Gray is second among the Cougars with 343 kills.