PROVO — The BYU softball team came out firing last weekend, bursting out to a 5-0 record by sweeping its games in the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah.

Sophomore infielder Angeline Quiocho, who hit four home runs during the last day of the tournament, rose up and helped set the tone early for the young Cougar team.

"We had a little talk on Saturday morning about her needing to step up and be the type of leader at plate she was capable of being," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "All the credit goes to her, but it was one of those times it worked just the way I imagined it."

Saturday was the Cougars biggest test so far this season as they took on Rhode Island and the team favored to win the tournament, Loyola Maramount. The other wins came against Southern Utah, Northern Colorado, and Wisconsin.

"Our team is very young, and it showed them we are for real," Eakin said. "When we are aggressive, we can play with anyone."

The Cougars will face another challenge this weekend in Las Vegas as they take on Northwestern State, Oklahoma, Missouri, San Jose State and Kansas.

TRACK AND FIELD: Women's distance runners Carolyn Quebe and Laura Taylor finished in first and second place of the college heat at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York City on last Saturday. Quebe ran a 4-minute, 54.32-second mile, and Taylor ran in the same heat with a time of 4:56.83.

Matt Weirich, Chris Little and Whitney Neves took the four through six spots in the championship heat of the men's pole vault while competing in New York.

Both the men and women's teams will be in action this weekend at the Boise State Invitational.

GYMNASTICS: The gymnastics team lost to No. 2 ranked Utah 193.925-196.700 in the Marriott Center last weekend, but the Cougars remained upbeat as they earned their best score of the season.

Senior Dayna Smart-Allen, currently ranked No. 21 nationally on the vault, got things started for the Cougars by earning her season-best score of 9.875.

The team will travel to Logan on Friday, to take on Utah State and New Hampshire.

WOMEN'S GOLF: BYU graduate Rachel Newren and senior Juli Erekson finished fourth and tied for fifth, respectively, out of 300 that entered, at the 2008 Duramed FUTURES Tour Qualifying Tournament Friday in Florida.

With their finishes, Newren received fully exempt status on the tour, while Erekson will be granted her fully exempt status after playing her final season at BYU.

MEN'S TENNIS: The Cougars were handed their first loss of the season last Friday by Stanford but bounced back to beat Santa Clara 5-2 on Saturday. The win improved their record to 4-1 this season as they head back on the road this weekend with matches at College of the Desert and Loyola Marymount.

WOMEN'S TENNIS: The women's tennis team will be home this weekend with a match against Boise at 3 p.m. today, and Texas Tech on Saturday at noon.

SWIMMING AND DIVING: BYU senior Jorge Azevedo was named the Mountain West Conference Swimmer of the Week last week. This was Azevedo's third time this season to receive that honor.

RUGBY: The Cougars fought hard last weekend in their first game against a men's Super Leagues team but came up just short as they fell 22-24 to Santa Monica RFC. BYU's record is now 5-1, and the Cougars will look to improve on that this weekend when they play at New Mexico Saturday afternoon.

HOCKEY: The hockey team dropped a game on the road against Utah State last Friday, but came home Saturday and beat up on rival Utah 8-1. BYU will once again take on the Utes Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the Steiner Ice Arena.

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