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BYU volleyball: Cougars ready for challenging 2014 season

By Royce Hinton

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Aug. 21 2014 7:46 p.m. MDT

Updated: Thursday, Aug. 21 2014 7:46 p.m. MDT

BYU launches the 2014 season on the road with the Gold and Blue Player’s Challenge at West Virginia from Aug. 29-30. The Cougars first face host West Virginia, followed by IUPUI – a 2013 NCAA tournament competitor – and Toledo.

The Cougars then return home for the BYU Invitational from Sept. 5-6. BYU first plays Pac-12 foe Washington, a team that advanced to the NCAA tournament semifinals a year ago. The following day the Cougars take on UMBC and in-state opponent Utah Valley.

Four road matches follow, with the UTEP/New Mexico State Invitational taking place from Sept. 12-13. The Cougars face off against Colorado State and UTEP on Friday, before taking on New Mexico State on the 13th. The following Tuesday, the 16th, BYU takes on Idaho State in Pocatello, Idaho. Colorado State, New Mexico State and Idaho State all made the NCAA tournament in 2013.

The annual Deseret First Duel against Utah takes place at the Smith Fieldhouse this year on Sept. 19. The Utes also made the 2013 NCAA tournament. It will be the final non-conference matchup for the Cougars.

During conference play, BYU will face nine very competitive teams. San Diego advanced to the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament with the Cougars in 2013.

League play begins at home for BYU, with matches against Gonzaga and Portland on Sept. 25 and 27, respectively. The Cougars’ conference play ends on the road with matches against Portland, Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount on Nov. 25.

All but two home matches will be televised on BYUtv this year. The remaining home matches will be broadcast on TheW.tv. The Cougars will also be televised on ESPNU on Sept. 30, when BYU travels to Pepperdine.

Royce Hinton is the women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.

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