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BYU Cougars briefs

MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Following a bye week, the No. 5 BYU men's volleyball team (7-4, 5-3 MPSF) continues its road swing at No. 14 UC San Diego (4-9, 1-7 MPSF) for a two-match series this weekend. The Cougars had a week to rest after splitting two matches at No. 11 UC Irvine on Feb. 4 and 5. Last week the Tritons lost to No.1 Cal State Northridge and fell in five sets to No. 10 UC Santa Barbara and will be looking for their first program win over BYU.

MEN'S TENNIS: BYU's Georgy Batrakov has been selected as the Mountain West Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Week.

Batrakov, who hails from Yaroslavl, Russia, went a combined 4-0 over the weekend to lead the Cougars to a pair of victories over No. 53 Denver and Drake. Against the Pioneers, he defeated Enej Bonin (7-6, 7-5) at the No. 4 singles position after partnering with Daniel Hwang to defeat Bonin/Fabio Biasion (9-8) at the No. 3 slot in doubles to help BYU secure the doubles point on its way to a 4-3 upset victory. The sophomore went on to beat Drake's Jonathan Hadash in straight sets (6-2, 6-1) at the No. 4 singles position after once again teaming up with Hwang to down Hadash/Ryan Drake (8-4) to help the Cougars earn their eighth-consecutive victory, 6-1, over the Bulldogs.

MEN'S GOLF: Spring has sprung for the BYU men's golf team as the Cougars saw their first action of 2010 at the John A. Burns Invitational Wednesday in Wahiawa, Hawaii. BYU posted a solid round-one showing, tying for sixth at 2-under-par.

"We were really working on shaking off the early-year cobwebs today," said BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank. "We had our chances, but we made a few mistakes and missed some putts. We just need to capitalize on our good shots over the next two days. It will be fun to build some momentum for the rest of the season."

A total of 15 teams gathered in Hawaii for the three-day event, most competing for the first time since the fall. BYU has not competed since a second-place finish at the Pacific Invitational on Nov. 4.

With a first-round score of 286, the Cougars are just eight shots back of the leaders, SMU and California.

Individually, freshman Zac Blair led BYU and tied for fifth overall in the field at 3-under-par, just one shot out of second place and four shots off the lead. Blair has been a solid competitor for the Cougars despite being a newcomer to the collegiate golf scene, competing in all four fall events with a stroke average of 74.33.

"Zac played well today," said Brockbank. "It was nice to see him get going a little bit. He has high expectations for this season so it's important for him to do well."

Senior Robbie Fillmore and junior Esteban Calisto posted par scores on the day with a pair of 72s to tie for 26th place. Fillmore shot a 36 on both the front and back nine while Calisto posted a 34 on the first nine holes of the course. Senior Brady Johnson was just one shot back at 1-over-par to tie for 36th while freshman Alton Anderson posted a 3- over-par 75.

Play will continue with round two on Thursday.

WOMEN'S SOCCER: After finishing her senior season as a BYU Cougar, Andrea Willis is now looking to play at a professional level with a team in the Women's Professional Soccer league.

The WPS is the highest level of women's professional soccer in North America and was formed in 2007 from efforts of the Women's Soccer Initiative, Inc. The organization consists of seven teams across the country.

The Boston Breakers is one of those seven teams and has shown interest in Willis after she became a free agent.

"It's going to be a great opportunity to go out there and play with the team," Willis said, "and to show them what I can do and see if I'd be a good fit in Boston."

The Breakers were formed in 2008 under head coach Tony DiCicco. For six years before coming to the Breakers, DiCicco was the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team.

"We were attracted to Andrea Willis from game tapes, conversations with her BYU coaches but also when speaking to other coaches about the best players they played against during the season, Andrea's name continued to pop up," Coach DiCicco said. "We are excited to offer her this opportunity to make the Boston Breakers and the WPS."

Willis was named an All-American for her performance on the field a Scholar All-American for her performance off the field. She graduated with a 3.63 GPA in the Exercise Science major and is looking to go into nursing.

"I really enjoyed my time at BYU," Willis said. "I'm excited to try playing at the next level."

WOMEN'S SOCCER: The Cougars will have a chance to compete with some talented teams in the spring as they test their own team in competition.

First up is an indoor tournament hosted by the Cougars to be played in the Indoor Practice Facility on Feb. 27 with other teams around Utah invited to play. The Cougars then go on the road with tournaments in Arizona, Las Vegas and Texas before finishing up the spring season back at home in an outdoor tournament on April 10 at South Field.

To see the full spring schedule, go to www.byucougars.com/Schedule.jsp?SP=162&M=02&Y=2010&S=All&Q=