Cougars Fall to Nationally-Ranked San Diego
PROVO, Utah – BYU women’s volleyball suffered a hard-fought loss to league-foe and No. 16 San Diego 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-17) Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse. With the defeat the Cougars are now 16-7 overall and 5-4 in West Coast Conference while the Toreros improve to 22-1 overall and 7-1 in league play.
“We didn’t play our game and we’ve got to figure out how to change that,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We haven’t done it for two matches now and that’s unfortunate because if we do it’s a whole different outcome. We just need to get back to where we were playing a week ago.”
Christie Carpenter led BYU with 14 kills and five blocks to tie her season high while Jennifer Hamson added 13 kills and five digs. Heather Hanneman posted a match-high 36 assists while Tia Withers and Kendalyn Hartsock had nine digs apiece.
San Diego was paced by a quartet of players with double-digit kills, including Sandra Lozic (17), Katie Hoekman (13), Carrie Baird (13) and Amber Tatsch (12). Setters Rachel Alvey and Jianna Bonomi each had 27 assists and Lozic had a match-high 16 digs.
The Cougars claimed the first set 25-23 behind a seven-kill effort from Carpenter. San Diego opened the set with a block but BYU responded with a 6-0 run. Carpenter got things started with a kill to end a long rally and she also teamed with Nicole Warner for a block during the run. Not to be outdone, the Toreros fought back, scoring five of the next six points to come within one at 7-6.
BYU did not trail in the first set but San Diego kept it close, tying the score four times at 13, 16, 17 and 19. The Cougars pulled away with a 5-1 run and after a scare from the Toreros — who cut the lead to one at 24-23 — Carpenter finished the set with an emphatic kill on the outside.
Set two was defined by runs as BYU opened with a 5-0 run before San Diego answered with a 6-1 run of its own to tie the score at 8-all. With BYU leading 8-7, the Toreros put together their most impressive stretch of the set, reeling off eight-straight points for a 15-8 lead. The Cougars took over momentarily with a 6-1 run to cut the deficit to 16-14 but San Diego caught fire again and took the set 25-20.
The third set started with a similar plot to set two as BYU started with a lead (6-4) and San Diego rallied to take a three-point lead at 15-12. The Cougars fought back to a 17-all tie but the Toreros outscored the Cougars 8-4 to claim the set 25-21.
BYU overcame early struggles in the fourth set with a 5-0 run that included a kill from Hamson, an ace by Hartsock and a block by Carpenter and Kimberli Boswell to lead 9-6. The Cougars last led at 11-10 on a Hamson kill as San Diego took control and went on to win 25-17.
After suffering back-to-back losses to ranked teams, BYU returns to the court on Thursday, Oct. 27, at San Francisco. The match will begin at 6 p.m. PT in War Memorial Gym and will be broadcast live online.
Volleyball Hosts 2 Top-20 Teams
PROVO, Utah—After back-to-back road wins, the BYU women’s volleyball team gears up for a tough pair of matches at home against West Coast Conference leaders No. 16 San Diego and No. 17 Pepperdine.
“It’s always exciting to be back playing at the Smith Fieldhouse in front of our fans,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We had a strong weekend and we’re excited to host two top-20 teams this week. It will be exciting for the local community and we hope as many fans as possible can come out to enjoy good volleyball and support the Cougars.”
BYU (15-5, 4-2) welcomes the WCC’s No. 1 Pepperdine (13-5, 7-0) to the Smith Fieldhouse Thursday at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the Cougars will face off with San Diego (20-1, 6-1), No. 2 in the WCC, also at 7 p.m., for their Dig Pink Match in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
BYU suffered road losses to both the Waves and the Toreros in the last meeting with each school, falling 3-1 to Pepperdine and 3-0 to San Diego in the first round of WCC play. But with wins against Portland and Gonzaga under their belts, the Cougars hope to continue last week’s momentum through the weekend.
Senior outside hitter Christie Carpenter’s season-high 20 kills pushed the Cougars past the Pilots and 17 more kills aided in the win against the Bulldogs. Carpenter and opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson both recorded double-doubles in the Portland match, Carpenter with 11 digs to add to her kills and Hamson with 16 kills and 10 digs. Hamson leads the league with 4.10 kills per set.
At 16 wins on the season, BYU has already recorded more wins than the team did the entire 2010 season. The Cougars are tied for third in conference, exceeding a sixth-place ranking in the preseason poll.
Pepperdine has established itself as the team to beat this season after an undefeated first round of conference play. The Waves will finally face San Diego Oct. 24 at home in a battle for the top of the conference.
Two-time WCC Player of the Week Kim Hill continues to be a key to Pepperdine’s offense, with 3.61 kills per set for second-place in the league. Other Waves to watch are Kellie Woolever, first in conference for assists with an average of 10.82, and Samantha Cash, second in the WCC for blocks with a 1.23 average.
The Waves haven’t lost since Sept. 17, when they fell 3-1 in a doubleheader against Hawai’i.
Katie Hoekman and Chloe Ferrari lead the Toreros and the conference in hitting percentage with .412 and .390, respectively. Amber Tatsch has 31 service aces on the season for .43 per set.
San Diego’s only loss of the season came against San Francisco, who is tied with BYU for third in the WCC.
The match against Pepperdine will be broadcast on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio and the match against San Diego will be broadcast on BYU Radio. Live stats are also available. For links to video streaming, audio streaming and live stats, click HERE.
Admission to the San Diego match is free for those who wear pink. The first 120 fans at Saturday’s match will also receive a free brownie.