Smith Fieldhouse Provo UT 84606
Cougars Shocked in Final Game of Classic
PROVO -- In the final game of the Molten Classic, the BYU Cougars (3-6) took on the only undefeated team in the tournament, Wichita State, and was defeated in four sets (19-25, 25-22, 21-25, 21-25). The win gave Wichita State the Molten Classic title.
“I was pleased,” BYU head coach Shay Goulding said following the loss. “I’m never pleased with a loss but I’ve been dialing things around and trying to find something that works and tonight we found a group that likes to work together. So we’ll go with this and see where it goes.”
The Cougars got off to a decent start early on but still, three kills early on by true freshman Jennifer Hamson found them down 15-12. Two kills by a fellow freshman by Jessica Jardine, who started for the first time in her career, brought them back within two 19-17 and forced Wichita State head coach Chris Lamb to call a timeout. However, BYU was unable to overcome the early deficit losing the set 25-19.
The Shockers took an early 4-0 lead but two straight attack errors by Wichita State gave the Cougars a chance to bounce back before eventually tying the score at 9-9 after a Christie Carpenter kill. A controversial call on the following possession would give BYU their first lead of the set. The two teams would tie again at 11-11 but the Shockers would then go on a 4-0 run to take a 15-11 lead.
Once again, the Cougars would not go down without a fight, deadlocking the score at 19-19 after a service ace by Hamson and an attack error by Wichita State. The score would be knotted again at 20, 21 and 22 before BYU was finally able to pull away when it really mattered. A block by Nicole Warner and Heather Hannemann followed by a solo block by Hamson sealed the deal as BYU won the second set 25-22.
The third set started slow for the Cougars as they found themselves down 8-5 due to strong hitting by the Shockers and several costly BYU errors. Two kills by Jennifer Hamson seemed to reenergize a struggling Cougar squad bringing them within two. A kill by Carpenter tied the score at 10-10. The two teams exchanged points back and forth as Wichita State tried to pull away from BYU but the Cougars kept coming back for more. The Shockers were able to extend their lead to three and never looked back winning the set 25-21.
BYU started the fourth set strong with another three kills by Hamson on a .600 hitting percentage. Still, the Cougars struggled to keep up with Wichita State calling a timeout down 13-9. The timeout proved effective for BYU who would go on a 3-0 run forcing the Shockers to call a timeout of their own. Down 22-18, Kendalyn Hartsock’s ace would bring BYU within three. Still, the Cougars were unable to complete the comeback losing 25-21.
Despite the loss it was a career night for several Cougars. Hartsock, Brooke Soon and Heather Hannemann all had a career high in digs with 22, 18 and 8 respectively. Hannemann also had a career high in assists with 32.
BYU’s Jennifer Hamson and Stephanie Snow were named to the classic’s all-tournament team along with Jasmine Rankins (LMU), Emily Adney (WSU), Lucy Charuk (Houston) and Stephanie Nwachukwa (Houston). Camri Zwiesler of Wichita State was named the classic MVP.
Houston Picks Up Another Win In Molten Classic
PROVO -- Game five of the BYU Molten Classic finished with Houston coming out with its second win of the tournament, defeating Loyola Marymount 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-23).
The Houston Cougars were led by middle blockers Stephanie Nwachukwu and Chandace Tryon tallying 11 kills each. Tryon finished the match with .556 hitting while setter Amber Brooks led the match with 40 assists.
Felicia Arriola of LMU led the match with 17 digs while Lucy Charuk of Houston finished with a match-high five blocks.
In set one, Chandace Tryon dominated the court with seven kills on a .667 clip, leading her Cougars to a 25-19 victory, while Stephanie Nwachukwu led Houston in the second set with six kills on .455 hitting. Amanda Carson held up the back row with seven digs, downing the Lions 25-15.
The third was neck-and-neck until Houston tallied a pair of blocks and a kill by Nwachukwu to put away set three 25-23.
BYU Hosts Three at Molten Classic
PROVO -- Hosting back-to-back tournaments, the BYU women’s volleyball team (2-4) will host Wichita State (3-2), Loyola Marymount (4-2) and the University of Houston (1-5) Friday and Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse for the BYU Molten Classic.
BYU will play Loyola Marymount Friday at 7 p.m., Houston on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Wichita State Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Wichita State and Houston will kickoff the tournament at 4:30 p.m. on Friday while Saturday’s competition will feature LMU vs. Wichita State at 12 p.m. and Houston vs. LMU at 5 p.m.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to be home again during preseason competition,” BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “We are bringing in three more quality teams in LMU, Houston and Wichita State. Considering we will be joining the West Coast Conference next year, it is particularly exciting to have LMU come in. This will be a great opportunity to match up against a team that we will be competing with on a regular basis in the future.”
Learning from this past weekend: Our focus this weekend must be on finishing as strong as we start and not granting teams the opportunity to come back when we have them down. We committed far too many errors this past weekend that allowed teams back in the match and that is unacceptable.
The Cougars are coming off a 1-2 weekend at the BYU Nike Invitational where they defeated Idaho State (3-2) and fell to No. 7 Nebraska (1-3) and Cal Poly (2-3).
BYU leads all three teams in the all-time series at 7-4, including the first meeting with Wichita State. The Cougars last faced Loyola Marymount and Houston at the Loyola Marymount Invitational in 1999, where BYU swept both teams.
“Wichita State has had a great deal of success under head coach Chris Lamb,” said Goulding. “They just came off their sixth-straight 25-win season in 2009, so they know how to win. I expect them to be a very offensive team that will provide for great competition this weekend and another great team that will prepare us for conference play.”
BYU leads LMU 1-0 in the all-time series. Starting in the 2011-12 season, BYU will join Loyola Marymount in the West Coast Conference.
“I expect LMU to be a very good team,” said Goulding. “They are led by a new coach this season with a strong track record -- he knows how to get his teams to win and they have already enjoyed some early successes this season.
Houston and BYU will share their 11th meeting, BYU leading the series 6-4.
“Houston is being led by a new head coach and have struggled some during this preseason, but considering who they have played I think their record right now can be extremely misleading,” said Goulding. “I am certain they will come in hungry for a win.”
After the tournament, the Cougars will continue with pre-season action Tuesday at home against in-state rival Utah State, and Friday and Saturday against Hawaii in Honolulu before starting Mountain West Conference play Sept. 24 against Colorado State in the Smith Fieldhouse.