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FULLERTON, Calif.—Five matches on the road caught up to the BYU women’s volleyball team which fell in a 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23) heartbreaker to Cal State Fullerton Friday, snapping a nine-match winning streak. The Cougars next play in their sixth-straight road match Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT against Cal State Northridge.
“It’s a setback,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We just didn’t play our best. I didn’t think our effort was up to par. The scores of each set were close, but we lacked a little in the effort category. It’s hard to change something like that by tomorrow, but we need to because I think tomorrow’s match will be similar to tonight’s.”
The match was the first time BYU (10-3) has lost in four sets this season. Prior to the match against Fullerton (5-5), the Cougars were 3-0 when the match went to four sets.
Despite the loss, opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson had a good night with 18 kills and 13 digs for a double-double to lead the Cougars. Hamson also contributed six blocks, five block assists and one solo. Outside hitter Christie Carpenter also had a double-figure evening with 13 kills. Libero Kendalyn Hartsock led the Cougars with 17 digs while freshman defensive specialist Tia Withers broke a career record with 15 digs. Setter Heather Hannemann tied her career record of 48 digs, which she set against Georgia Southern during the Varney’s Invitational. Kathryn LeCheminant had a season-high eight kills and career-high four digs.
The team set a season-high 16 total blocks to the Titans’ three. There were 32 ties and 17 lead changes throughout the match.
As the match opened, the Cougars took the lead and maintained it until Titan Kayla Neto tied the first set 12-12 on a kill. BYU allowed the Titans an 8-1 scoring streak and struggled to get back on track the rest of the set. The Cougars tied the match four more times with the help of seniors Carpenter and Casey Thurston, but Fullerton ran off with the first set 25-22.
After playing catch up most of the first set, BYU got it together late in the second to end a 6-0 run by Fullerton. Down 10-8, Hamson helped the Cougars on their own eight-point run with two service aces. Carpenter and Kathryn LeCheminant tied the set 19-19, giving the Cougars a glimmer of hope before the Titans pulled away by three at the last moment to take the set 25-22 once more.
BYU gathered its strength for another drive in the third set, with Hamson and Carpenter helping the team to 10 ties and six lead changes. With the score tied at 24-24, Hamson turned up the heat and grabbed two more points for the 26-24 win.
The Cougars couldn’t keep their footing in the final set, even after coming back for an 11-11 tie following the Titans taking an early lead. The Cougars marched forward a few points, staying on top until a 19-19 tie broke their momentum. Unable to get back on its feet, BYU let the set slip through its fingers for a 25-23 defeat and 3-1 loss of the match.
Live stats for Saturday afternoon’s match are available HERE.
Cougars Hungry for Ninth-Straight Win
PROVO, Utah—With two tournament titles and the Deseret First Duel trophy in hand, the BYU women’s volleyball team hits the road for matchups against Utah State, Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge.
The Cougars (9-2) head to Utah State (7-6) for a 7 p.m. MT match Tuesday before heading to California to meet Fullerton (4-5) Friday at 7 p.m. PT and CSUN Saturday at 1 p.m. PT. The team seeks to continue an eight-match win streak that began with a 3-0 victory against Weber State Aug. 30.
“The team played great and was consistent this past weekend,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “It was good to be close to home and be able to compete in a tournament. I’m happy for this team and hope we can continue to build on those wins. Winning the Deseret Duel and tournament title is always a plus. We are right back at it preparing for Utah State and looking forward to travelling to Logan and California this week.”
West Coast Conference Player of the Week Jennifer Hamson leads the Cougars with a total of 119 kills at .338 hitting. Hamson garnered All-Utah Invitational honors with teammate Heather Hannemann Saturday and Christie Carpenter received tournament MVP honors. Hannemann has 314 assists on the season and 70 digs. After missing the first tournament due to injury, Carpenter is back with 40 kills and 41 digs for 2.67 kills per set and 2.73 digs per set.
The Aggies came out of the weekend with three straight losses to Oregon State, Long Beach State and Saint Mary’s in the Long Beach State Baden Classic. Liz McArthur will help Utah State in its attempt to break the losing streak after totaling 143 kills and 104 digs on the season. Laurel Bodily has 179 season digs and Josselyn White leads in blocks with 46 (five solo).
Kayla Neto leads Fullerton in kills and Amanda Yamate leads in digs, with 130 apiece. Leah Maurer is the leading blocker with 17 block assists and nine block solos. The Titans went 1-2 in the Montana Tournament over the weekend, bringing their total to 4-5 after a win against host Montana and losses to Idaho and South Dakota. BYU defeated Idaho Sept. 2 in the Kansas State Invitational.
With six victories, CSUN comes off a win against UNLV in the UNLV Invitational for a 2-1 weekend record. Mahina Haina has 132 kills in 38 sets. Sydney Gedryn recorded 35 block assists and three solo blocks for 38 total and Cindy Ortiz has 162 blocks. The Matadors face UCLA on the road Monday night before hosting the Cougars.
For live stats and live video of the Utah State match, click HERE.