PROVO The BYU women's volleyball team puts its seven-match winning streak on the line as the third-seeded Cougars face No. 6 seed New Mexico in today's first of four quarterfinal contests of the Mountain West Conference Championships.
Start time for BYU (20-6 overall, 12-4 MWC) and UNM (16-12, 7-9) is noon MT at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. The winner advances to Friday's semifinal to meet the winner between second-seeded and tournament host UNLV and No. 7 seed Wyoming.
The Cougar-Lobo quarterfinal will be broadcast on The mtn.
The Cougars concluded the regular season with a 3-1 victory over then-25th-ranked UNLV last weekend, with both teams finishing with identical 12-4 conference records. Although the two split their two-match regular-season series, the Rebels earned the higher tourney seed through tiebreakers.
With BYU streaky at the end of the season, New Mexico is experiencing an opposite trend. The Lobos enjoyed one of their best starts in school history earlier this year but ended the season dropping seven of their final nine matches.
BYU holds a 60-9 overall series advantage over the Lobos however, UNM upset the then-No. 23 Cougars 3-1 last month in Provo. BYU avenged the loss with a three-game sweep in Albuquerque earlier this month.
The Cougars are ranked in the nation's top 25 in several team statistical categories with 5.46 assists per game, a .268 hitting percentage and 3.04 blocks per game. Rachel Dyer is eighth in hitting percentage at .421. Colorado State enters as the 2007 regular-season champion, the defending tournament champion and the tourney's top seed. However, a No. 1 seed hasn't won the tournament since the Rams did just that in 2003.Last year, BYU was seeded second in the MWC tournament and was ousted in the quarterfinals by seventh-seeded San Diego State.