Cougars Let It Snow Versus UNLV
PROVO -- Wearing pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the BYU women’s volleyball team (8-12, 3-3 MWC) defeated the UNLV Rebels (6-14, 2-5 MWC) in Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday. The clean sweep of the Rebels gave the Cougars their fifth-straight sweep.
“I think the difference between now and five matches ago is confidence,” BYU head coach Shay Goulding said following the match. “The skill is there and now the confidence is there - the two go hand-in-hand. The maturity has definitely come especially in our backcourt.”
Stephanie Snow led the Cougars with 11 kills followed by Jennifer Hamson and Christina Measom who both posted nine kills in the victory. Senior setter Kiana Rogers posted her seventh double-double of the season by the end of the second set and finished with 32 assists and 13 digs.
BYU came out strong in the first set as balanced hitting gave the Cougars an early 9-5 lead. A Christie Carpenter block excited the BYU faithful as the Cougars took a 12-7 lead forcing the Rebels to take a timeout. However, BYU continued their strong play and scored two consecutive points off Hamson solo blocks. UNLV would call another timeout with the score 14-7. Coming out of the huddle Carpenter tallied another block followed by a Nicole Warner ace giving the Cougars a nine-point advantage. BYU would go on to win the set 25-14 off .367 hitting and after out-blocking the Rebels 12-2. Hamson recorded five blocks in the first set alone.
On the first play of the second set, Hamson tied her career-high of six blocks. Carpenter posted two kills early in the set to give the Cougars a 7-3 lead but a four-point run by UNLV tied the score at seven-all. The score would be knotted four more times before BYU pulled away due in large part to strong hitting by Snow and Carpenter. A service ace (her second of the night) gave Cougar libero Kendalyn Hartsock a career-high and BYU an 18-14 lead. A Carpenter kill gave the Cougars the set victory with a score of 25-17.
The Cougars found themselves down 3-1 to open the set but a Snow block followed by a Hamson ace tied the score at three-all. Still, the Cougars struggled take the lead in the set falling behind 11-8 at one point in the set but two straight kills by Hamson brought BYU within one of the Rebels. UNLV would pull away once more to take a 14-11 lead but again the Cougars responded tying the game at 14-all and again at 15, 16, 17 and 18-all. A Measom service ace gave BYU their first lead of the set. Three Snow kills late in the set extended the Cougars lead and a Measom kill sealed the deal for the Cougars as they won the set 25-23.
“I think earlier this season we wouldn’t have recovered in the third set like we did,” Goulding said. “So I wasn’t happy with it but I was pleased we were able to pull ourselves out of it.”
The Cougars will travel to New Mexico to take on the Lobos on Thursday at 7 p.m. as they look to keep their streak alive.
Three-Match Week For Spikers
PROVO -- With back-to-back road wins, the BYU women’s volleyball team (5-12, 1-3 MWC) will travel to Weber State Tuesday, before coming home to host Air Force Thursday and UNLV in a pink out Saturday. All matches begin at 7 p.m. MT and BYUtv will be broadcasting the UNLV match live.
“We have three solid matches this week and we will take them each one at a time,” BYU head coach Shay Goulding said. “The team has regained much of the confidence that they have lacked lately and I expect it will carry over into this week. The team feels good, and their attitudes are great. They are excited to get out and continue to prove themselves. We feel very fortunate that our two Mountain West opponents will be here at home it puts us in a great spot to continue to press forward.”
Promoting Breast Cancer Awareness month, the team will be planting tulips Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. before having the “pink-out” match against UNLV at 7 p.m. Saturday. Coming off two-straight road sweeps, the Cougars are ready to continue their winning ways.
Up first will be Weber State in Ogden, Utah. BYU leads the all-time series 57-0 with the last meeting being a 3-0 win for the Cougars in Provo. The Wildcats are 2-17 overall, and 0-7 in the Big Sky Conference. They are led by Bethany Wray on the attack with 228 kills at 3.21 kills per set. Weber State is coming off a nine-game losing streak and recent 3-0 losses to Utah Valley and Sacramento State.
The Cougars will return to Provo to jump back into Mountain West Conference play, hosting Air Force Thursday at 7 p.m. The Falcons enter play this week with a 3-15 record and an 0-5 MWC record. AFA is led offensively by Caroline Kurtz who has 236 kills and is averaging 3.58 kills per set. The Falcons have lost their last five matches, all in conference play. BYU leads the all-time series against Air Force 24-1.
Finishing out the week will be UNLV in a pink-out match to promote breast cancer awareness Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. The Cougars lead the all-time series 23-6, the last meeting a 3-1 win at home. The Rebels are led by Sara Nehf on the attack with 212 kills, averaging 3.16 per set.
“UNLV has battled well with all of their opponents this year and we expect no less when they come to our court on Saturday,” Goulding said. “Saturday is our ‘Pink-Out’ match. We hope to have a great crowd there to support us as well as to celebrate and honor Breast Cancer Awareness month.”
After this week the Cougars will travel to New Mexico and TCU on Oct. 21 and 23.