Viejas Arena San Diego CA 92115
Sweeping Through San Diego
SAN -- Proving its ability to bounce back and rise up, the BYU women’s volleyball team came back strong in a sweep against San Diego State (25-17, 25-20, 26-24) improving its record to 12-11 overall and 5-8 in the Mountain West Conference.
“I’m extremely proud of the team,” said BYU women’s volleyball head coach Shay Goulding. “They executed the plays really well. We’ve made a lot of improvements, offensively and defensively, and I think those improvements really came out in the way we played tonight.”
Kayla Walker led the Cougars in kills with 11, followed by Rachel Dyer and Bryn Porter who tied for second-place with eight. Melissa Lake topped in digs with eight, while Ashton Hansen Hosford led with eight blocks.
The Cougars set the pace early in the first set taking the lead 10-4. In an attempt to stop the momentum, the Aztecs called a timeout but to no avail. With a kill from Walker and a service ace from Porter, BYU carried the lead to 14-6. Unable to stop the Cougar strength, the Aztecs fell to BYU 25-17 after a service ace from Dyer to end the set.
In an attempt to turn things around, SDSU entered set two more aggressively and pulled ahead with a six point lead, 8-2. After a timeout by BYU, the Cougars fought back to close in the lead 9-10, however, only able to land a tie at 12-12. The Aztecs kept applying the pressure, but blocks by Hosford and Walker and two service aces from Porter gave BYU the first lead of the game, 19-18. Building on the new direction, BYU came together with blocks from Hosford and Dyer and kills by Walker and a final kill from Dyer to seal the deal with a win, 25-20.
Going in for the sweep, BYU came into set three ready to battle. Both teams were back-and-forth with neither one able to gain a lead of more than two points. Tied at 11-11, the Aztecs rose ahead taking the lead 15-12. Not giving up, the Cougars fought back, but were unable to take the lead, trailing behind until eventually tying the game at 22-22. With the sweep on the horizon, BYU pushed through the ties and came out on top, taking the set at 26-24, and sweeping the match.
The Cougars will return home to gear up for their next game against the University of Utah on Nov. 14. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. MT and will be held at Crimson Court.
Cougars Look To Crash Conference Party
PROVO -- With the season nearing an end, the BYU women’s volleyball team is looking to crash the party in the upper half of the Mountain West Conference beginning with matches at UNLV and San Diego State this week. The Cougars (11-10, 4-7 MWC) will face the Rebels on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT (8 p.m. MT) before taking on the Aztecs on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT (2 p.m. MT).
“We need to keep the energy and momentum going we’ve had the past couple weeks,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “We want to be the spoilers to everyone we play, and we want to finish the season strong.”
The Cougars posted their second-straight Mountain West Conference win last week with a victory over TCU on Friday before falling to New Mexico on Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse. Junior Kayla Walker led the way for BYU on the weekend, including tallying her fourth double-double of the year with 16 kills and 11 digs vs. TCU. Senior Bryn Porter notched her fifth double-double of the season and first since Sept. 12 with 12 kills and 11 digs against New Mexico. Junior Ashton Hansen Hosford also got in the mix with season highs of 13 kills and .632 hitting against the Horned Frogs.
BYU has featured a new line-up over the past three weeks that has improved the play and confidence of the team. Walker has moved from the outside to the rightside with fantastic results as she led BYU in kills and digs last weekend. Sophomore Christina Measom has taken advantage of the opening on the outside to earn the starting job, posting eight kills and four blocks against TCU and six kills with three blocks vs. New Mexico.
The UNLV Rebels are 13-11 overall this season and 6-5 in Mountain West Conference play after losing three straight matches for the first time since 2005. Junior outside hitter Jessica Walters leads the team and ranks fourth in the MWC with 3.23 kills per set, which helps her come in 10th in the league with 3.41 points per set. Senior libero Camille Cunningham paces the conference with 5.07 digs per set, which also ranks 19th nationally. She adds 0.24 aces per set to tie for eighth in the MWC. As a team, the Rebels are 48th nationally with 15.85 digs per set.
The San Diego State Aztecs are 8-13 overall and5-6 in Mountain West Conference play with wins in four of their last seven matches. The Aztecs are led by all-around contributor Lauren Salisbury. The sophomore middle blocker ranks seventh in the league in kills (3.05), third in hitting percentage (.357), fifth in points (3.83) and 10th in blocks (1.04). In MWC play, her blocking tally jumps to 1.20, which is seventh in the conference. Senior libero Michelle Ferrer is sixth in the league with 3.53 digs per set. As a team, SDSU outblocks its opponents, 2.34-2.03, ranking fifth in the MWC in that category.
BYU leads the all-time series with the Rebels 21-5 and owns a 36-17 advantage over the Aztecs. However, both teams beat the Cougars earlier this season.
Fans can follow the action of both Cougar matches this week via GameTracker and CSTV All-Access. Links to these options can be found by going to the schedule page of the BYU women’s volleyball homepage at http://www.byucougars.com/volleyball_w/.