College Roundup: BYU women open WNIT at home vs. Rice
The BYU women’s basketball team concluded West Coast Conference play last Monday with a league tournament semifinal loss to Gonzaga in Las Vegas.
Turns out the Cougars’ season isn’t done yet.
First-year coach Amber Whiting’s crew takes its 16-16 record into the Women’s National Invitational Tournament and is paired with Conference USA program Rice in the first round. The Owls, which won the WNIT in 2021, will travel to Provo to play BYU in the Marriott Center on Friday at 7 p.m.
“We are super excited to be hosting the first round of the WNIT,” Whiting said. “These women are really excited to get back out there, play another game and compete for the right to extend our season.”
Rice forged a 22-8 overall record and finished 13-7 in C-USA, good for third place behind Middle Tennessee (18-2) and Western Kentucky (14-6). The Owls lost to No. 6 seed UTSA 62-54 in the league tournament quarterfinals.
BYU’s last trip to the WNIT came in 2017 when they fell to Washington State 72-64 at the Marriott Center. BYU has made nine appearances in the tournament, advancing to the Great Eight in 2010, the third round three times (2013, 2011, 1982)
The Owls lead the overall series with BYU 2-1. The last time the two teams met was when they were both members of the Western Athletic Conference in 1997. Rice won 92-81 in Provo and the Cougars took a 76-68 decision in Houston.
UVU begins NIT play at The Pit in New Mexico
The Utah Valley men’s basketball team has earned a bid to play in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) and will travel to Albuquerque to take on New Mexico in the first round on Wednesday night at The Pit.
The game will tip-off at 8 p.m. (MT) and will be broadcast on ESPN+.
The Wolverines head into postseason play with a 25-8 overall record and an NCAA NET rating of 74. UVU also holds a KenPom ranking of 79. Utah Valley has already played two teams in the NIT field this season, defeating No. 1 Oregon in Eugene and No. 3 Sam Houston at home.
Utah Valley and New Mexico will meet for the first time on the basketball hardwood.
The Wolverines secured their third WAC regular season title in program history this season (2014, 2021, 2023) and its second in the last three years under head coach Mark Madsen. UVU finished atop the WAC standings with an 15-3 record. The team’s 25 wins are tied for the most wins in program history.
UVU makes its second appearance in the NIT as the Wolverines earned a bid into the 2014 tournament where it dropped a 77-64 decision at California. The NIT appearance will be Utah Valley’s sixth overall showing in a postseason national tournament.
UVU has also made three appearances in the CBI (2017, 2018, 2019) and one in the CIT (2012).
Wednesday’s night’s game against the Lobos will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and over the radio airwaves on ESPN 960 AM (Utah County)/92.1 FM (SLC).
Delgado prepares for NCAA Wrestling Championships
UVU redshirt junior Isaiah Delgado enters his first NCAA Championships this week after a career that has been filled with ups and downs. He has a chance now to show the highs of his career at the NCAA Championships.
“I expect to win it all because I believe in myself,” Delgado said. “Realistically, I don’t care about winning or losing, I only care about keeping guys off my legs and scoring points. Whatever happens, happens, and as long as I do the things I’m trained to do, I’ll be happy regardless of the outcome,”
Delgado enters this week’s NCAA Tournament at 15-14 and has been the UVU starter all year at 149. After starting the season 4-2 at the Michigan State Open before opening Big 12 duals with a victory over Chaz Hallmark. He defeated him a second time at the Roadrunner Open while finishing 4-1 and earning his second third-place finish. “Isaiah had a great run at the Big 12 Championships last week. He wrestled from behind in three matches in a row against higher-ranked foes, beating two of them and forcing OT with the third. He is performing at a very high level currently and has peaked at the right time to be wrestling his best,” said UVU head coach Greg Williams.
At the end of the Big 12 season, Delgado finished 2-6 in dual action, but he did not let the record hurt his performance at the Big 12 Championships. After losing to UNC’s Chris Sandoval, he bounced back to pick up two victories by one point over Alek Martin (South Dakota State) and Sam Hillegas of West Virginia. The run ended with a loss to Kellyn March (NDSU) to put him in the seventh-place match. He clinched the seventh-place spot, and the NCAA qualifying spot after Wyoming’s Chase Zollman was disqualified from the tournament. Delgado will open the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 16 with a pigtail match against No. 32 seed Anthony White of Rutgers. White defeated Delgado at the Roadrunner Open in November.
Gneiting earns spot on USA Women’s Volleyball Spring Training roster
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Former BYU women’s volleyball middle blocker Heather Gneiting was named to the 2023 USA Women’s Volleyball Spring Training roster.
Gneiting is one of five middle blockers among a total of 18 players who will train with U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Karch Kiraly and his staff this week before scrimmaging on Saturday, March 18. View the full Spring Training roster at the USA Volleyball website.
A two-time AVCA All-American and four-time All-WCC First Team honoree, Gneiting was also named the AVCA National Freshman of the Year in 2018, a first in program history, and the 2018 AVCA Pacific South Region Freshman of the Year.
The Pleasant Grove, Utah native helped the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons at BYU, leading the team in service aces last season, total blocks in 2018, 2019 and 2022, and hitting percentage in both 2018 and 2021.