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slee | Posted: 20 Dec 2014 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars fall to Penn State in NCAA national finals


OKLAHOMA CITY – The No. 12 BYU women’s volleyball team fell in three sets (21-25, 24-26, 14-25) to the defending champions Penn State in the NCAA National Championship game on Saturday night.

"Congrats to Penn State on an oustanding season," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "Russ Rose may go down as the greatest coach ever in the sport. I'm just happy to have been able to be along for the ride with these kids, especially the seniors. All the credit goes to them and my assistant coaches for getting us here. We've had a great run this year."

Senior Jennifer Hamson finished with a team-high 14 kills, eight digs and two blocks with Alexa Gray adding nine kills and two blocks. Amy Boswell contributed seven kills, three blocks and a solo block, while Tambre Nobles added seven kills and a team-high 12 digs.

Freshman Alohi Robins-Hardy finished the night with 31 assists and eight digs. Ciara Parker added 10 digs with Tia Withers Welling finishing with six of her own.

The Cougars got off to a 3-0 start in the first set with Hamson and Nobles’ kills leading the way. After a kill and a service ace coming from Hamson to give BYU a 6-3 lead, Penn State went on a 4-0 run to take its first lead of the set at 7-6. Boswell reeled off three kills and a block to get within three after the Nittany Lions extended their lead to 16-11. After falling behind 24-19, Boswell and Nobles got kills to cut the deficit 24-21, but Penn State took the first set 25-21.

In the second set, Gray’s kill and Welling’s service ace gave the Cougars a 2-1 start. BYU went on a 7-1 run ignited by Boswell’s kill and capped with consecutive kills by Hamson to extend its lead 13-8. The Cougars maintained their two-point lead until the Nittany Lions chipped away with a 5-2 run to take the 23-22 lead. Boswell’s kill tied it at 24 apiece, but was taken by Penn State’s consecutive points to take the set 26-24.

The Nittany Lions took off in the third set to take a 7-4 lead despite kills from Gray, Nobles and Hamson. An 8-1 run by Penn State was stopped by Hamson’s kill, but BYU still played from behind at 19-8. The Nittany Lions maintained their lead and took the final set 25-14 and the NCAA national title. 

All-Tournament Team
Alexa Gray, BYU
Jennifer Hamson, BYU
Ali Frantti, Penn State
Micha Hancock, Penn State
Megan Courtney, Penn State - MVP
Brittany Howard, Stanford
Chiaka Ogbogu, Texas

Saturday night was the first time BYU made it to the title game and was the first unseeded team to ever reach the finals. The Cougars knocked off the No. 11, 6, 14 and 2 seeds in their journey to the national championship game. 

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Royce Hinton | Posted: 15 Dec 2014 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Royce Hinton

No. 12 Cougars head to Oklahoma City for Final Four


PROVO, Utah – No. 12 BYU women’s volleyball travels to Oklahoma City this week to play in the national semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

The Cougars will first face off against No. 2-seed Texas. With a win, BYU would advance to play either No. 1-seed Stanford or No. 5-seed Penn State.

Last week, the Cougars won a four-set thriller against No. 6-seed Florida State before sweeping No. 14-seed Nebraska to advance out of the Seattle regional.

No. 2 Texas

  • BYU faces off against the Longhorns Thursday at 6 p.m. CST at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
  • The Cougars lead the overall series 9-6, but Texas won the last matchup in a sweep during the 2008 season.
  • The Longhorns are led by 3.28 kills per set from Haley Echerman, a 5.95 assist average from Chloe Collins, Cat McCoy’s 3.76 dig average and 1.58 blocks per set from Sara Hattis.

No. 1 Stanford

  • Should BYU advance to the championship match, the Cougars would face either Stanford or Penn State Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CST.
  • The Cardinal lead the overall series 8-4, including a four-set win in the last matchup in 2007.
  • Stanford is led by Inky Ajanaku’s 3.52 kill average, 12.11 assists per set from Madi Bugg, Kyle Gilbert’s 4.75 digs per set and a 1.21 block average from Merete Lutz.

No. 5 Penn State

  • Penn State and BYU have faced each other 10 previous times. The Nittany Lions hold a 6-4 edge in the overall series history.
  • The Cougars fell to Penn State in the last meeting during the regional finals of the NCAA tournament in the 2007 season.
  • The Nittany Lions are paced by 3.21 kills per set from Ali Frantti, 11.53 assists from Micha Hancock, a 3.66 dig average from Dominique Gonzalez and Haleigh Washington’s 1.24 blocks per set.


Thursday’s match against Texas will be broadcast live on ESPN2. The national finals on Saturday will also be broadcast on ESPN2. Links to live stats and a video feed can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page when they become available.


Tickets for both matches can be purchased on the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship page. Fans can purchase all-session, single match and group tickets.

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