PROVO, Utah – In its final home game of its inaugural season as a member of the West Coast Conference, the BYU women’s volleyball team topped the Portland Pilots in straight sets (25-22, 25-17, 25-19) on Senior Day Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse.
"The win at home for the seniors is huge, alone, but also to be able to bounce back after Thursday’s loss," said BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. "For these girls to come out and win today is really great. Jen Hamson was phenomenal, she got points for us whenever we needed them, and the seniors were great too. Their stats and the way they played was off the charts.”
Sophomore opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson led the Cougar attack with 16 kills and a .560 hitting percentage. Senior Christie Carpenter followed with 12 assists. Junior setter Heather Hannemann had 41 assists while junior Kendalyn Hartsock had 13 digs.
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BYU (21-9, 10-6) took an early 6-2 lead in the first set after scoring four consecutive points to break away from a 2-2 tie. Portland (2-14, 8-21) answered with its own 4-0 run to tie the set. Both teams battled back-and-forth before a Hamson kill sparked three straight points for BYU. Portland stopped the drive and brought the score within one.
After an exchange of points, Portland tied the game before Carpenter scored to put the Cougars back on top, 17-16. Portland battled back to take a 19-18 lead, its first lead since it went up 1-0 to start the first set.
Hamson had five points at the end of the set to set up a match point for BYU. A block by sophomore middle blocker Kathryn LeCheminant secured the set victory for BYU, 25-22.
The Cougars jumped to an early 3-1 lead in the second set but the Pilots took control of the set after going up 6-5. Despite trailing, BYU stayed with Portland until it tied the game 13-13. The Cougars used that momentum to go on a 5-0 run to take a 17-13 lead.
Portland broke up the run but Thurston answered with a kill for BYU.
“Even when we were down in the second set, they kept playing and bounced back,” Olmstead said.
Carpenter capped off a 4-0 run to put the Cougars up 23-16. BYU went on to take the set 25-17.
The third set featured 4-0 and 5-0 runs for BYU. Despite the runs, the Pilots were able to stay with the Cougars. Portland’s effort was thwarted, though, as BYU pulled ahead 21-16.
Senior Phillips positioned the Cougars to a match point. A long serve by Portland gave BYU the set (25-19) and match victory.
BYU finished the season 21-9, 10-6.
Volleyball Enters Last Week of League Play
PROVO, Utah—In the final week of regular season, the BYU women’s volleyball team welcomes Gonzaga and Portland to the Smith Fieldhouse to close out a successful run in its inaugural season as a member of the West Coast Conference.
"We are excited to host Gonzaga and Portland this week," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "Each and every opponent in this conference presents different schemes and systems and we'll plan accordingly starting with Gonzaga on Thursday."