PROVO — Riding the momentum of a huge upset over No. 4 Stanford in the BYU Molten Classic last Friday, the BYU women's volleyball team vaulted into the national rankings this week at No. 16.

BYU (6-0), previously unranked, made the biggest gain of any team in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Coaches Poll, released Tuesday. Stanford fell to No. 8, while Utah held steady at No. 24.

The Cougars could not have started the season in a more dominating fashion. Five of the team's victories were sweeps, while the sixth, the Stanford win, came in four games.

The team's trophy case has been a direct beneficiary of the success, housing the two new trophies BYU has claimed in two tournaments this season, the UCF Fall Invitational and the BYU Molten Classic.

Junior right side hitter Erica Lott took home tournament MVP honors from both encounters, while senior middle blocker Lindsy Hartsock joined her on the all-tournament team each time. Sophomore setter Amy Schlauder also made the all-tournament team at the BYU Molten Classic.

BYU will be in Kansas this week, for matches against Kansas tonight and Arkansas on Friday.

WOMEN'S SOCCER: Following a 2-1 upset victory over then-No. 18 Georgia last weekend, the BYU women's soccer team moved up two spots to become the new No. 18 in a national poll compiled by Soccer Buzz Magazine.

The Cougars debuted at No. 18 in the same poll in the fourth week of the 2005 season, then climbed as high as No. 13 before finishing the season in the No. 23 slot. During the '05 season, BYU climbed as high as No. 6.

In-state rival Utah (3-1) debuted in this week's poll at No. 25, the only other team from the Mountain West Conference to be ranked.

BYU will face its second consecutive ranked opponent Friday, when No. 28 Colorado visits Provo for a 7 p.m. game. The Cougars will also host Fresno State on Saturday at 7 p.m. Both games are at BYU's South Stadium.

CROSS COUNTRY: Running fans will have their best opportunity of the season to see the BYU cross country teams in action this weekend, when the Cougars host their lone home meet of the year.

The BYU Autumn Classic, held Saturday at 10 a.m. at East Bay Golf Course, will give fans their first look at the 2006 teams, led by All-American Josh Rohatinsky and former All-American Kassi Andersen, who will be back in action for the first time after missing the last two seasons while on an LDS mission.

Saturday's meet will be the closest until the MWC Championships, hosted by the University of Utah on Oct. 28.

THE MTN.: The BYU Athletic Department is asking fans to help push for The mtn., the cable channel partnership between the Mountain West Conference and College Sports Television, to be added by national satellite providers.

The channel, which debuted Friday, focuses exclusively on teams and events from the Mountain West Conference in a variety of sports.

Comcast, which has a 50 percent share in the channel, has already added it to its expanded basic lineup, and other local cable companies around the state have followed suit or are working to do so.

DirecTV subscribers can call and ask for the channel to be added at 1-800-494-4388, for existing customers, or 1-888-238-7177 for new customers.

Existing Dish Network subscribers can call 1-888-284-7116, while new subscribers can call 1-888-825-2557.


E-mail: jtwitchell@desnews.com