The BYU women's volleyball team opens NCAA tournament first-round play tonight against the University of Mississippi.

The Cougars (21-7) and Rebels (25-7) meet at 5:30 in Seattle, Wash.

"Ole Miss is a good team," said BYU coach Jason Watson. "We actually had the chance to see them play last year against USC in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and they were incredibly competitive and very talented. We expect the same from them this year. They come from a very competitive volleyball conference in the SEC."

The winner of the match will play Saturday night at 6 against the winner of sixth-seeded Washington and Missouri.

Tonight marks the Cougars' 24th appearance in the NCAA tournament's 27-year history.

"We're very happy that we are in the tournament and that we have a chance to continue playing this season," Watson said. "BYU has a rich tradition in the Tournament, which we hope to add to. The team is excited to go play and compete against the best teams in the nation."

The Cougars own an all-time 28-23 record in the NCAA tournament. Last season, BYU defeated Santa Barbara in the first round of the tournament, then fell to fifth-seeded USC in the second round.

The Cougars faced seven teams that reached the 64-team NCAA field, posting a 4-6 record against those squads. BYU beat Wisconsin, Northern Iowa and American. It went 1-2 against UNLV, Colorado State, and lost to Cal Poly and Stanford, which is the tournament's top overall seed.

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