BYU Sports to watch in Fall 2019
Updated: Aug 3, 2019
While there is no doubt that BYU Football is the sport that catch the most attention, don't forget about the other sports during the Fall.
Last year, BYU sports did extremely well in the fall, having three teams finish nationally ranked in the Top 10. Although nobody should expect those kind of same results this year, there are still quite a few teams that are definitely worth watching.
Oddly enough, BYU Football and Men's Basketball actually had almost the worst records across BYU Sports last year, yet that is where all the attention went. Not to say that attention should not go there, but here are some other sports to be watching in the next few months.
In 2018 the women's soccer team appeared to be in total rebuild mode coming off of one of their worst seasons since the turn of the century and after losing nearly half the team's production to graduation. There was only one senior on the team and yet the Cougars not only managed to get better than in 2017, they won the WCC and qualified for the NCAA Tournament with a 13-5-1 record, including finishing on a 9-2 run.
That team is returning everyone but one senior and is looking to improve even more. This team is filled with quite a few seniors who are ready to go out on a high note. This is probably the most "under the radar" team that could find themselves ranked in the Top 15 by the end of the season.
The departure of Lyndie Haddock-Eppich, Roni Jones-Perry and Sydnie Martindale one would think that BYU Women's Volleyball would take a big step back from last year's team. While there may be a small step back following being ranked nearly the entire season and starting off the season 26-0, the team is still going to be really good.
Heather Gneiting has been playing for the USA U-20 National Team at the Junior Olympics and Libero Mary Lake just helped Team USA win the 2019 FIBV World Championships. Lake played in 24 sets over the course of eight matches in the VNL, totaling 44 digs.
Add that to stars Kennedy Eschenburg and Mckenna Miller who are returning from last season and the team has a really solid base. The only question will be who comes in to sub as there aren't a lot of substitutes returning with a lot of experience.
Expect the team to drop a few matches early as they find their rotation before rolling over WCC competition and making it again to another NCAA Tournament as a high seed.
Men's and Women's Cross Country both had quite the year in 2018 with 2nd and 7th place finishes last year at the NCAA Championships. The women's team is returning every runner who ran on the 2018 7th place team with quite a few seniors who will want to push the team to a Top 5 finish.
The men's team appears to be down this year with Rory Linkletter, Connor McMillan and Clayton Young gone, but with Conner Mantz, Clayson Shumway and a bunch of new talent coming in, this team may still crack the Top 5.