Charlotte Y. Martin Centre
710 E Lower Kennedy Dr. Spokane WA 99258
SPOKANE, Wash.—A third-set scare couldn’t hold the BYU women’s volleyball team back from a 3-1 (25-23, 25-8, 25-27, 25-19) rout of Gonzaga Monday night, which pushed the Cougars to a tie with San Francisco for third place in the West Coast Conference.
“We’re excited to win this one on the road,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We had a good second set, but didn’t come out as strong in the third. It was nice we could battle down to the wire. They won 27-25, but we responded well in the fourth and made adjustments to come back to win.”
Outside hitter Christie Carpenter once again led the Cougars (16-5, 5-2) in kills with 17, also putting in eight digs and a career-high five service aces against Gonzaga (7-12, 1-7). Jennifer Hamson had 16 kills and six digs at the opposite hitter position and Nicole Warner had 11 kills and four blocks at middle blocker. Setter Heather Hannemann set a new career high in assists with 54. Libero Kendalyn Hartsock contributed 17 digs to lead the team.
The Cougars got off to a rocky start, losing a 3-1 lead to fall behind 9-7. BYU kept within two until a 4-0 Bulldog scoring streak put the Cougars back 14-11. A kill by Gonzaga’s Kylie Edinger brought the score to 19-15 before BYU got back on its game. Hamson and Carpenter took the Cougars on a 6-1 streak with kills and errors by Gonzaga to push BYU to the top 20-19. From there, Hamson laid down two kills to help BYU to the 25-23 set win.
BYU took control of the second set, going up 4-1 with the help of Warner and Hamson kills. The Cougars increased that lead to 10-4 and continued their dominance on the court. Carpenter spurred BYU to a 10-point lead and Hamson threw down back-to-back kills to raise the score to 22-7. The Bulldogs would only score one more point before a Gonzaga attack error ended the set for the Cougars 25-8.
Carpenter opened the third set with two kills to put the Cougars ahead 2-1. The Bulldogs fought back to tie the set 3-3. BYU couldn’t shake off Gonzaga, resulting in four more ties before Gonzaga took a 9-7 lead. The score swung back and forth until the Cougars broke free for a 20-17 lead on Hamson’s kill. Terran Poindexter brought it back for Gonzaga, tying the set 22-22 before Meredith Crenshaw stole back the lead for the Bulldogs. But an error from Crenshaw blocked Gonzaga from an easy win. The Bulldogs had to punch out three more points to finally get the 27-25 third-set win.
A 6-1 BYU scoring streak opened the final set, featuring kills by Carpenter, Warner and Hamson. Carpenter pushed it to an eight-point lead on a kill. The Bulldogs never recovered, cutting the lead to five before the Cougars closed out the set 25-19.
“We were very appreciative of fan support from local (LDS) institute,” Olmstead said. “All the cheering from the many BYU fans in attendance got us fired up. That helped us big time.”
BYU has a difficult schedule for the upcoming week, facing both No. 17 Pepperdine and No. 16 San Diego, Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Fans wearing pink will be admitted free to the Dig Pink match against San Diego and the first 120 spectators will receive free brownies.
Women's Volleyball Faces Pilots, Bulldogs
PROVO, Utah—The BYU women’s volleyball team heads to the Pacific Northwest this weekend to take on Portland and Gonzaga Saturday and Monday, respectively.
“Portland and Gonzaga are both quality opponents,” BYU head Coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We know their coaches will have the teams prepared for us and we’re doing our part to get ready for them. We have a longer travel period than last week, so we need to be prepared.”
The Cougars (14-5, 3-2) seek to boost confidence and get back in their winning rhythm after falling to No. 20 Pepperdine, who remains the only undefeated team in the league.
The trip will be a homecoming of sorts for freshman defensive specialist Tia Withers, who hails from Beaverton, Ore., just 15 minutes outside of Portland. While playing for Sunset High in Beaverton, Ore., Withers took her team to two third-place finishes in the state championships. Withers has started nine matches in her debut season with the Cougars and recorded 126 digs.
Sophomore opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson leads the Cougars and the WCC with 267 kills (4.11 per set) and is third on the team for total blocks with 72 (1.11 per set). With 106 total blocks (1.63 per set), middle blocker Nicole Warner leads the team and the conference. Warner is currently No. 3 in the nation for blocks per set.
Setter Heather Hannemann totals 664 assists (10.22 per set) on the season with 148 digs and libero Kendalyn Hartsock has recorded 285 digs (4.38 per set), the second highest number of digs in the conference.
Portland is 7-12 on the season and 1-5 in the WCC, with its only conference win coming against San Francisco at home Oct. 1.
At the top of the Pilot offense is Ariel Usher, whose double-figure kills helped Portland to the 3-2 victory against USF. Usher averages 2.57 kills per set. Monica Jordan helps out on offense with 8.30 assists per set and Katie Mardesich and Marissa Plumber cover defense with 2.70 digs and .85 blocks per set, respectively.
Gonzaga (6-11, 0-6) looks to recover from a seven-match losing streak. Its last win came against Niagara Sept. 10, a 3-0 victory.
Laura Day hits 2.47 kills per set to lead the Bulldogs. Libero Kristina Lavrisha falls just behind BYU’s Hartsock in digs, averaging 3.59 for third-most in the league.
The Bulldogs and Pilots will play each other Thursday in Spokane, Wash., prior to the matches against BYU.
BYU will face the Pilots at 1 p.m. PDT Saturday in Portland and Gonzaga at 6 p.m. PDT Monday in Spokane, Wash.
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