News Release

The University of Hong Kong and BYU Women Meet on Volleyball Court

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Brigham Young University (BYU) women’s volleyball team played a friendly exhibition match with The University of Hong Kong women’s team at Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Sports Centre in Tin Shui Wai on Saturday night. BYU came out on top, taking the best three-out-of-five in just four games. Following the match, the teams mutually decided to play a bonus game, which was won by HKU.  

HKU team spokesman, Chris Chan, proudly discussed his HKU team, saying, “They’re all local players and they did very well defensively.” BYU players clearly had a height advantage, with many players over 1.8 meters. While BYU had a distinct edge with spikes and blocks, the HKU team showed great quickness and court awareness in their defensive game.  

The following day, BYU’s players conducted a Sunday devotional for a mostly Filipina audience at the Church’s Wan Chai building. Several players shared their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ and encouraged the audience to be “present” and engaged in the gospel. Accompanying the team and coaching staff were former BYU football and NFL pro-bowler, Chad Lewis, BYU’s Associate Athletic Director; as well as BYU Vice President, Matthew O. Richardson.

Lewis spoke to the Filipinas about the love he holds for them as faithful members of the Church and how much he appreciates their examples of faith and strength in the face of adversity. Richardson brought his wife out of the audience and had her recite a daily ritual she performs with their children. Every morning as they went out the door, she would give them a rousing, cheerleader-like pep talk about “the five R’s” which are: Respect for all, Reverence, Resourcefulness, Responsibility, and Resolve . . meaning to never give up until problems are resolved.  

Following the devotional, the team served cake and root beer floats while getting to know the Filipinas. Member Berna Ladwingo said, “I felt like all of the speakers spoke to me personally . . straight to me. I’m really grateful I came here to this fireside. I learned a lot how I can live the gospel. I learned how to ‘stand in holy places.’”  

BYU’s two week trip to China will include matches with the Guangdong women’s team, as well as teams in Shanghai and Nanjing. They will conduct volleyball clinics at schools and compete against the Jiangsu women’s volleyball club as well as the Jiangsu junior team. BYU will then complete their trip in Beijing, playing at Caijing University and the Beijing women’s team. 

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