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HOUSTON—Continuing a successful start to the 2012 season, the BYU women’s volleyball team recorded its second sweep of the weekend with a 3-0 (25-16, 23-12, 25-11) win against Air Force in the Cougars’ second match of the Rice Invitational.
“We were excited to go up against a talented Air Force team that played a great match last night against the host, Rice,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We stayed focus the entire match, which was important, and were competitive in a lot of areas of the game.”
Jennifer Hamson and Jessica Jardine once again led the BYU offense, each collecting 13 kills during the match. Hamson hit .765, a new career best. Kathryn LeCheminant went up for six blocks to lead the Cougars while Heather Hannemann helped out with 33 assists. Ciara Parker and Tia Withers both got their second double-figure outings of the season with 12 digs and 10 digs, respectively.
The team set a new BYU rally-scoring record, hitting .507 during the match.
Hamson got the Cougars moving with the first two BYU kills of the match, putting BYU ahead 5-3. Air Force came back to tie at 10-10 with the help of three straight kills by Falcon Cami Richan before Hamson and middle blocker Nicole Warner teamed up for back-to-back blocks. The blocks launched a 5-0 BYU run.
The Cougars maintained the lead through the rest of the half, increasing it to nine on a kill by Alexa Gray. The freshman outside hitter then turned around and wrapped up the set on a kill for a 25-16 finish.
Hamson wasted no time in the second set, throwing down three straight kills bookended by kills from Gray and Warner for a 5-1 run. Before long, BYU netted a 10-2 lead and were well on their way to victory. The Falcons attempted a comeback with serving exchanges, starting a run with two Air Force service aces and a Cougar service error, but the 4-1 streak wasn’t enough to get them back in the game. The Cougars stormed back to take the set 25-12 on a Warner kill. Heading into the break, BYU led 2-0.
A 17-2 Cougar scoring streak in the third set took the match for BYU as Air Force struggled to respond. BYU had 11 unanswered points before Falcon Meg Bright got in a kill. Air Force recorded 12 errors during the set, allowing for almost half of BYU’s points in the final set. Two kills by Jardine finished the set 25-11.
The Cougars take on host Rice at 7 p.m., looking to take the Rice Invitational title. Live stat links are available on the BYU schedule page. Video streaming is available on the Rice schedule page with the purchase of a monthly subscription to Rice’s online video content.
Cougars head to Houston for season opener
PROVO, Utah—Launching its second season under head coach Shawn Olmstead, the BYU women’s volleyball team heads to Houston for the Rice Invitational Friday and Saturday.
The Cougars will face Arkansas State in their season opener. Friday’s 4:30 p.m. CDT match will be only the second time in history the two teams have met, with BYU holding the 1-0 lead. The last time they met was in 1996.
Last season Arkansas State went 20-11 overall and 12-4 in the Sun Belt conference. Allison Kearney, a senior this season, led the offense with 3.50 kills per set in 2011. The team only lost one starter from last season and has three newcomers.
Next on the docket for the Cougars is former Mountain West foe Air Force at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Falcons went 3-27 and 0-14 in conference last season, and BYU leads the series 28-1.
The Cougars finish up the tournament playing against the host, Rice, at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Owls recorded an 18-13 overall record in 2011, placing second in Conference U.S.A. with a 13-7 record. All six starters and the libero will return for Rice in 2012.
With a 2003 victory against the Owls, BYU increased its series lead to 5-0.
In 2011, BYU went 21-9 during the season and 10-6 in its first year as a member of the West Coast Conference. Five starters return for the Cougars.
In the AVCA Preseason Coaches' Poll, BYU received 12 votes.
Links to live stats can be found on the women’s volleyball schedule page. Live streaming is available for the BYU vs. Rice match with a subscription purchase. Links to live streaming are available on the Rice women's volleyball schedule page.