The BYU women’s volleyball team is going to be good this year, and that fact has been noticed.
Take a look at Monday's preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll if you aren't sure about that.
The Cougars, who finished 24-7 last season and reached the NCAA regional semifinals, checked in at No. 9 in the first poll of the season.
With 924 points, BYU is one of two WCC teams in the preseason top 25. The other, San Diego, earned 628 points for a No. 14 ranking. Washington, the Cougars’ first home opponent, is ranked No. 4 with 1,280 total points. BYU also plays Colorado State, which is ranked No. 18.
Penn State was named No. 1 heading into the season, following an NCAA tournament championship last year, with 32 first-place votes. The Nittany Lions were followed by Texas at No. 2 and Stanford at No. 3.
There’s a lot to like about this year’s Cougar team. Not only does BYU return dynamic athletes Alexa Gray, Tambre (Haddock) Nobles, Whitney Young and Camry (Godfrey) Willardson, but 6-foot-7 Jennifer Hamson has completed her basketball eligibility and will focus solely on volleyball this fall.
Somewhere, coach Shawn Olmstead is rubbing his hands together in anticipation.
BYU finished the season ranked No. 13 last year. The Cougars will hold their Blue/White Scrimmage on Aug. 23 and will open the season on the road at the Gold and Blue Player’s Challenge in Morgantown, W.V., on Aug. 29.