PROVO, Utah — Gearing up for another successful season, the BYU women’s volleyball team started fall practice Wednesday.

“This is always an exciting time of year for our team,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I’m enjoying the work we have put into these practices and am enjoying even more the wonderful student-athletes we have in the gym. They are working hard and making changes as we progress each day.”

The Cougars open their season with back-to-back tournaments on the road, the first at Rice University and the second at Wichita State. In Houston, BYU will compete also compete against Arkansas State in the season opener and former Mountain West opponent Air Force before facing host Rice.

In the Shocker Volleyball Classic, the team goes up against Wichita State and then faces Colorado State, also a former MW foe, and Tennessee.

The Cougars have five starters returning and welcome five freshmen to the roster for 2012 — Amy Boswell (sister of junior Kimberli Boswell), Alexa Gray, Ciara Parker, Samantha Staker and Whitney Young.

Since the end of the 2011 season, the Cougars participated in spring competition, amassing a 6-0 record against teams such as Utah and UVU. The team also travelled to Brazil and Argentina competed against local teams in late April and early May.

Fans can see a preview of the 2012 season at the alumni match Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. MDT in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Tickets for 2012 matches are available at the Marriott Center Ticket Office. For more information on purchasing single-game or season tickets, visit the ticket office page. Tickets are also available an hour before each match at the Fieldhouse Ticket Office, located by the west entrance on the north side of the Fieldhouse.

Fans can view the complete 2012 schedule and roster on the BYU women’s volleyball page.

Rachel Hawks is a sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.