LOS ANGELES – Another highly successful season for BYU women’s volleyball ended Friday night in a four-set (30-32, 13-25, 25-21, 16-25) loss to No. 6 USC in the regional semifinals of the 2013 NCAA tournament.
The Cougars finished the season 24-7 overall and 15-3 in West Coast Conference play. BYU finished second in the WCC after losing a heartbreaking five-set match at San Diego in the regular season finale. This season also marked the second-straight year that the Cougars advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The 2013 squad included the WCC Freshman of the Year in Whitney Young, All-WCC and All-Pacific South Region sophomore Alexa Gray, All-WCC senior Kathryn LeCheminant and All-Pacific South Region Honorable Mention sophomore Camry Godfrey.
“Hats off to USC,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They played a wonderful match. They were really efficient. They served well and got us out of system a bunch. They served really tough. I'm happy for the chance I had to compete against those guys, and I felt that we were really well prepared. I'm happy for our team. Our kids have done a wonderful job all season; from the way they rebounded at losses. These are tough. These are the lessons in athletics and life. These kids are hurting, but I know that they'll respond and be a little stronger from that.”
Alexa Gray led the way for BYU with 23 kills from 55 attempts to hit a .273 clip. Sophomore setter Godfrey helped her team 49 assists, and Ciara Parker tied a team-high 17 digs in the season finale. Junior Tambre Haddock had her fourth consecutive double-double, her 18th of the season, with 13 kills and 17 digs.
Godfrey got things started in the first set for BYU with a kill, but the Trojans jumped ahead to a 6-3 lead from three straight points. The Cougars then went on a 6-2 run to take a 9-7 advantage from consecutive Haddock kills. The score remained close from that point with BYU taking a 15-13 lead at the first media timeout. The Cougars took their first three-point lead from a Gray kill that took the score to 20-17 and forced USC to take their first timeout. The Trojans came back from a deficit to tie the set from points 23 to 30 before taking the 32-30 win. The set was tied a total of 19 times and had seven lead changes.
The second set began point for point until BYU had a 7-6 advantage from a Jessica Jardine kill. A 4-0 run for USC followed to put them ahead 10-7, and a series of Trojan kills extended their lead to five at 16-11. USC took a 10-point lead at 23-13 from consecutive kills and another pair of kills gave the Trojans a 25-13 set two win.
BYU started the third set down 3-1 before Gray helped the Cougars overcome the deficit with five kills to take a 7-3 advantage. The Trojans took their first timeout of the set after Haddock and Gray recorded kills to extend the BYU lead back to four at 12-8. Young and Haddock extended that lead to seven with a block that put them ahead 18-11. USC tried to mount a comeback with a 4-0 late run, but the Cougars finished off the set 25-21 from a Jardine kill. In the third set Gray more than doubled her kills for the match, going from nine in the first two to 20 after the third.
The Trojans opened up the fourth set with a 3-0 lead, in part from two Samantha Bricio kills. BYU cut the lead to just one at 6-5 with the aid of a USC service error, but three-straight Trojan points brought the lead back to three at 8-5. The Cougars took their final timeout of the fourth set after two consecutive USC blocks extended the Trojan advantage to seven at 16-9. BYU couldn’t find an answer for USC’s offense in the end as the Trojans took the fourth set and match 25-16.
Alexa Gray was named to the Los Angeles Regional All-Tournament Team.
Cougars to face No. 6 USC in third round of NCAA tournament
PROVO, Utah – BYU women’s volleyball will travel to Los Angeles on Friday to face No. 6 USC in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
After beating Arizona State in a five-set thriller in the first round of the tournament last Friday, the Cougars swept No. 11 Hawaii on their home court on Saturday to advance to the third round.
BYU will face USC for the 18th time in school history. The Trojans hold an 11-6 advantage on the Cougars in the overall series. This is the first matchup between the two schools since they faced each other in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2006. USC swept BYU in that match.
Should the Cougars defeat the Trojans in the regional semifinals, BYU would advance to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2007. The Cougars would face the winner of No. 2 Washington and No. 14 Kansas, who also play in the Los Angeles regional semifinals.
Fans may purchase tickets for BYU’s match online at GetTrojanTix.com, over the phone by calling (213) 740-GOSC or in person at USC's Student Union Ticket Office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. On the day of the match, tickets may be purchased at the Galen Center box office up to 90 minutes prior to the start of the first match. The box office is located at the northwest corner of the arena at the intersection of Figueroa Street and Jefferson Blvd.
Tickets are $20 for adults, and $15 for children (3 years and up), seniors and students with a valid ID. All tickets are reserved seating. Courtside reserved tickets are $30.
Friday’s match will be broadcast live by ESPN3, and Saturday’s match will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
Links to live stats will be available on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.
Click here for up-to-date information about the regional semifinals: