PROVO, Utah--The BYU women’s volleyball team defeated the Santa Clara Broncos 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-13) on Thursday night, extending their best start to a season since 2006. With this victory, the Cougars have already tied their total victories from the 2010 season, with 14 wins.
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Although Santa Clara (7-8, 2-2) marked the first point of the match, BYU (14-4, 3-1) took control from the beginning, eventually sparking a 12-4 run, which finished with a score of 19-9 for the Cougars. From there points were interchanged, until the Cougars eventually ended the set with a 4-1 run, 25-14.
The second set was a battle that saw four tied scores early on. Although the teams played back and fourth most of the set, BYU only once gave up the lead. Tied at 12, a kill from Jennifer Hamson sparked a 6-2 Cougar run that the Broncos were never able to recover from. It was a kill from Katie Vaughn that ultimately put the set away, 25-19.
BYU was able to carry over the momentum from the second set into the third, beginning with an 8-3 run that was initially sparked by two kills from Christie Carpenter. Trying to hold onto the set, the Broncos were able to pull within three points, with a score of 13-9, but the Cougars answered back with a 8-0 run.
Calling three time-outs within the run, the Broncos answered with their own 4-1 run, but it wasn’t enough to stop BYU’s momentum. It was a kill from Kathryn Lecheminant that finished off the set and match, 25-13.
Hamson led the Cougars with her seventh double-double of the season, posting 13 kills and 12 digs. Carpenter recorded 10 kills on the match and LeCheminant also broke her career record in block assists, with 8.
“It's good to play a match like this before you head to Malibu,” Olmstead said. “Pepperdine is a good team. They had a real nice, quick win last night over LMU at LMU so they're playing well. It's good to win these matches and get confidence and a little energy going. “
BYU will play Pepperdine in Malibu on Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT.
Cougars Continue Conference Schedule
PROVO, Utah—After a 1-1 California road trip, the BYU women’s volleyball team returns to the Smith Fieldhouse to take on Santa Clara Thursday at 7 p.m. before heading back to California to take on No. 20 Pepperdine Saturday at 1 p.m.
“We look forward to hosting Santa Clara on Thursday and hitting the road to play Pepperdine Saturday,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. “They’re both quality teams at the top of the West Coast Conference. We’re excited for the great opportunity to play Santa Clara at home after playing on the road last week. Immediately after that match, we’ll start preparing for Pepperdine.”
BYU (13-4, 2-1) had a record-setting 3-2 match against Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, with six players setting 11 individual records. The team also set a season record with 21 blocks.
Following the victory, the Cougars suffered a 3-0 setback against No. 17 San Diego, but are looking to get back on their feet to be ready for Santa Clara and Pepperdine.
Off to its best start since 2006, one more victory would tie the total number of BYU wins from last season. Last week’s competition marked the halfway point for the season.
At the helm of Cougar offense, sophomore opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson contributes 4.17 kills per set to lead the conference. She is aided by middle blocker Nicole Warner with 2.05 kills per set and setter Heather Hannemann, who has 598 assists on the season at 10.31 per set.
Three Cougars place in the WCC top 10 for blocks, Warner coming in at No. 1 with 1.67 per set, Hamson at No. 2 with 1.14 per set and Kathryn LeCheminant at No. 4 with 1.12 per set. Libero Kendalyn Hartsock is second in conference for digs with 4.45 per set.
Still boasting the second-best overall record in the conference, the Cougars are tied with Santa Clara (7-7, 2-1) in conference standings while Pepperdine leads the pack with a perfect 3-0 West Coast Conference record. The Waves are 9-5 overall.
The Broncos defeated Portland and Gonzaga on the road last week, going 3-1 against both opponents. Thursday’s match marks Santa Clara’s third-straight road match in a series of four road matches. Santa Clara leads the conference in kills per set with 14.25 and place second in assists with 13.41.
Pepperdine faced Saint Mary’s last Thursday, where the Gaels pushed the match to five sets before the 3-2 Wave victory. Pepperdine has had five five-set matches this season, two against WCC opponents.
With 3.73 kills per set, Kim Hill leads the Waves’ offense and places second behind Hamson for kills in the league. Kelli Woolever is second in the WCC in assists with 632 at 10.71 per set. Lilla Frederick and Samantha Cash lead the defense with 3.29 digs per set and 1.08 blocks per set, respectively.
Admission to the Santa Clara match for children age 12 and under is free.
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