Smith Fieldhouse Provo UT 84606
Mustangs Pull Ahead of Cougars
PROVO -- The BYU women's volleyball team (2-3) fell 3-2 to the Cal Poly Mustangs (3-3) in a hard-fought battle (25-21, 20-25, 25-16, 12-25, 9-14) to end the BYU Nike Invitational Saturday night in the Smith Fieldhouse.
“I talked a lot to the girls about breaking our season into chapters,” BYU coach Shay Goulding said. “And this is just one chapter. It’s the intro or the prologue to our book. The thick of the chapters are when we get into our conference, and that’s when it really matters. I purposefully put us up against some tough teams, I think we matched up really well against Cal Poly, in my mind there’s no reason why we would have lost the game.”
Despite the loss, four of the Cougars had career nights, starting with Christie Carpenter’s 14 digs. Saturday night’s game was Carpenter’s third double-double of the season, as she also made 14 kills. Stephanie Snow had two career highs, reaching 13 kills and hitting at .619 and Kathryn LeCheminant had 10 kills, hitting at .450 and tying her career high of six blocks. True freshman Jessica Jardine reached a career high of six kills and three digs.
“I saw a glimpse of greatness this weekend, and that’s what I’m going to hold on to and that’s what we’re going to push forward with,” Goulding said.
The Cougars lost ground at the beginning of the first set, but came back to tie the game 16-16. From there, LeCheminant took the lead for BYU, continuing a five-point scoring streak. Nicole Warner took the set with a kill to the back corner. Carpenter led the set with five kills and four digs, hitting at .625.
The Mustangs took the first five points of the second set. The Cougars fought back, LeCheminant’s kill reaching a tie at nine. Seven ties followed as the score inched forward until a Mustang error gave BYU a two-point lead. Cal Poly came back to take the lead by one point, starting a back-and-forth battle for the lead until the Mustangs broke away to win the set 25-20.
Neck-and-neck for the first 11 points of the third set, the Mustangs slowly pulled ahead to lead the set 7-5. The Cougars came back to tie the set 9-9. The teams engaged in a long rally that ended in a Cal Poly error and BYU lead.
Surging forward, the Cougars placed six more unanswered points on the board. The Cougars continued their advance to put 11 points between their score and the Mustangs’. Carpenter kept the kills coming, with five total for the set and three digs. Kills from Carpenter and Snow kept Cal Poly’s comeback attempts at bay, and a kill from Snow ended the set with a nine-point BYU lead. Snow ended the set with five kills, hitting at .833.
As the fourth set opened, the Cougars lost the momentum that carried them to victory in the third set. The Mustangs took the lead early on, taking six consecutive points and securing a 25-12 win.
By the middle of the set, Cal Poly was up by five and continued to gain on the Cougars. The Mustangs finished the set and the match with a kill from Callie Smith for the victory.
Following the match, Carpenter was named to the all-tournament team and No. 7 Nebraska was named tournament champion.
The Cougars will face Loyola Marymount Friday in next weekend’s BYU Invitational. The game begins at 7 p.m. at the Smith Fieldhouse following a matchup between Witchita State and Houston at 4:30 p.m.
Nebraska Ends Tournament Undefeated
PROVO -- No. 7 Nebraska swept its last match in the BYU Nike Invitational, putting away Idaho State (25-16, 25-17, 25-12) to go undefeated and win the Nike Invitational.
Husker Jordan Wilberger led the match with 11 kills, .625 hitting, followed by teammate Gina Mancuso with 10, .368 hitting, and Delano Brooke with 9, .533 hitting. Haylee Thompson-Brock led the Bengals with 9 kills. On the back row, Nebraska’s Kayla Banworth had 15 digs and Hannah Werth had 10.
Sarah Carson from Idaho State started the first set with a kill from Lori Mendenhall, getting Idaho off to a quick 4-1 lead. The Huskers struck back to tie the set 5-5 and take the lead on the next point.
Nebraska then received six consecutive points. Bengals answered with five of their own before their streak was stopped by a hit out of bounds. The Bengals held on through the first set until the last eight points of the set, when the Huskers went on a 7-1 run to take the set, 25-16.
Nebraska shook off Idaho State early in the second set despite Thompson-Brock’s hard kill for 2-1 lead. With a kill from Werth, the Huskers took a 10-point lead to bring the score to 16-6 and maintained at least a seven-point lead the rest of the set. Morgan Broekhuis led the Huskers in the second set with 4 kills and hitting at .571.
Nebraska ended the last set quickly, with Wilberger, hitting at 1.000, leading the Huskers to a 25-12 final score.
BYU Nike Invitational
BYU – Cal Poly – Idaho State – Nebraska
Sydney Anderson Nebraska
Jennifer Keddy Cal Poly
Sarah Carson Idaho State
Hannah Werth Nebraska
Christie Carpenter BYU
Kristina Graven Cal Poly
Tournament MVP: Kayla Banwarth, Libero, Nebraska
Home Opener Hosts No. 7 Nebraska
PROVO -- Excited to begin the season at home, the BYU women’s volleyball team (1-2) will host the annual Nike Invitational Friday and Saturday, attracting No. 7 Nebraska (2-1), Idaho State (3-0) and Cal Poly (2-1) for a six-match tournament.
“Our focus this week is still on us,” BYU head coach Shay Goulding said. “We need to be great on our side of the net. We are working on competing hard and eliminating errors. I really believe the match will still come down to serving and passing.”
The Cougars are coming off a third-place finish at the State Farm Illini Classic hosted by the University of Illinois, falling to No. 6 Illinois and Middle Tennessee, and coming back to beat South Carolina. Senior middle blocker Christina Measom was named to the All-Tournament Team after leading the squad with 15 kills against South Carolina and 12 against Middle Tennessee.
“We learned a great deal about ourselves last weekend,” said Goulding. “As a result, we will be working hard on different elements of our game this week, but ultimately I was pleased that we showed some real tenacity and fight. The girls pulled out an impressive win against South Carolina. A key factor for us will be finishing matches as strong as we begin them.”
Nebraska leads the series with BYU 6-2, with BYU losing the last meeting on Sept. 11, 2009 in Lincoln, hushing the sold-out crowd in the first set, and dropping the next three to the Huskers. Nebraska finished with a No. 5 final ranking in 2009 and started out the season ranked No. 2.
“We are thrilled to bring No. 7 Nebraska to our home court. They are a fantastic volleyball program with rich tradition,” said Goulding. “We competed very well against them last year on their court so it will be fun to have them in the Smith Fieldhouse.”
BYU leads Idaho State in a 23-1 overall record, with the last Cougar win coming in 2005 (3-0). The Bengals boast a perfect 3-0 record this season with wins over Texas-Pan American, Oral Roberts and Lamar.
In the all-time series between Cal Poly and BYU, the Cougars lead 10-5. The Mustangs came to Provo for last year’s Nike Classic Tournament where BYU slid by 3-2. Cal Poly has recorded wins over Arizona and Marshall this season before falling to Notre Dame last weekend.
“Idaho State and Cal Poly both bring a great deal to the quality of this preseason tournament,” said Goulding. “Both just came off of successful opening weekends. I believe both teams have improved tremendously since last year and will be ready to compete. It is fun bringing in Idaho State and Cal Poly because each of the coaching staffs have some history with BYU; I know they love to come here and we love to have them. It is going to be a great weekend of volleyball.”
Preseason tournaments hosted by BYU have been a tradition since 1977. With the exception of two years (1993 and 1999), the Cougars have hosted at least one tournament each year. It is one of college volleyball’s longest running traditions, and although the name of the marquee tournament has evolved over the years from the BYU Preview to the BYU Invitational to the BYU Mizuno Classic to the current BYU Nike Invitational, the premise has always been the same – to gather top teams from around the country for intense competition.
Although the premise of staging the 1977 BYU Preview was for modest short-term gain, BYU has now hosted 36 tournaments in 30 years, winning 20 titles along the way. An excerpt directly from the 1984 BYU Preview program explains the simple beginnings:
“BYU coach Elaine Michaelis conducted her first volleyball invitational in 1977 to give her team, visiting teams and local fans a chance to preview some of the schools expected to play in the AIAW national championships that BYU was to host later that season. Her idea was that preseason competition among gifted teams would allow coaches and players to identify their flaws, exhibit their strengths and measure themselves against others as they began the march toward nationals. The response was so enthusiastic that her idea turned into a tradition.”
There have been many Cougar highlights, but one of the top moments in BYU tournament history was when BYU upended No. 1 Stanford before defeating No. 2 Long Beach State to take the 2000 tournament title. The Cougars also defeated No. 4 Stanford on the way to winning the 2006 crown and No. 10 Wisconsin while taking the 2007 title.
The Cougars look to have another upset as they host No. 7 Nebraska in the first match of the tournament Friday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.