Smith Fieldhouse Provo UT 84606
Cougars Down Lions in Dramatic Fashion
PROVO -- In a preview of future West Coast Conference matchups, the BYU women’s volleyball team (3-4) defeated Loyola Marymount (4-3) in a five-set thriller Friday to open play at the BYU Molten Classic.
"We started off slow but we finished strong," said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. "We are going to try to carry our success from tonight into tomorrow and win both games."
The Lions, who went 3-11 in WCC play in 2009, jumped out to an early 20-11 lead in game one and never looked back, winning 25-17 behind senior Felicia Arriola, who tallied six kills and four digs.
In her first start as a Cougar, freshman rightside hitter Jennifer Hamson, led the BYU comeback in game two as the Cougars tied the score at 23 apiece before taking the game 28-26. Hamson recorded five kills and five digs in the set and finished the night with 14 kills and 16 digs, with two service aces and three digs in the first double-double performance of her career.
“I was thrilled with her overall performance," said Goulding. "She not only played the net well, but also covered the floor."
A back-and-forth third game went down to the wire, with the Lions getting the 25-22 win on the heels of five kills and three digs by junior outside hitter Jasmine Rankins.
However, the Cougars again rallied back as they jumped out to a 6-2 lead in game four and held on with two service aces for the win to tie the match, forcing a fifth game.
It was all BYU in game five as Hamson, Snow and Carpenter each recorded two kills and the Cougars finished the match with 15 team blocks.
The Cougars return to Elaine Michaelis Court Saturday at 10 a.m. when they face off against Conference USA power Houston and again at 7:30 p.m. against Wichita State in the final match of the Molten Classic.
Wichita State vs. Houston Cougars
PROVO -- The Wichita State Shockers defeated the Houston Cougars 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-22) to open the Molten Classic Friday evening.
Leading the Shockers on the night was junior Camri Zwiesler with 18 kills on a .486 hitting percentage, adding seven digs. Also chipping in was sophomore Emily Adney with eight kills and two digs. As a team the Shockers finished the match with a .356 hitting percentage and 45 kills. Junior Mary Elizabeth Hooper had a match-high 39 assists for the Shockers.
Houston got a strong performance from junior Ingrida Zauere with 11 kills on a .320 clip with five digs. Defensive specialist Amanda Carson helped out the Cougars with a match-high 17 digs on the night.
The Shockers and Cougars were back and forth for the first few points of the set until the Shockers started to build on a five-kill performance by Zwiesler, pulling away for the 25-14 win. Junior Sarah Waldorf and sophomore Jackie Church helped out on defense with six and five digs, respectively.
Houston kept set two close before falling to Wichita State 25-20. It was Zwiesler again leading the charge for the Shockers, tallying up six kills on a .545 hitting percentage. Zauere helped the Cougars stay in the set with six kills and one dig of her own.
During set three the Cougars got on a 3-0 run to bring it to 24-22 and force the Shockers to regroup during a timeout. Wichita State quickly ended all hopes of a comeback on a quick kill from red shirt freshman Elizabeth Field, her second of the set to end the match, giving her team the 25-22 victory.
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.