University Credit Union Pavilion
1928 Saint Marys Road Moraga CA 94575
MORAGA, Calif.—Jennifer Hamson’s 16 kills weren’t enough to pull off a win for the No. 11 BYU volleyball team, who drops to 15-1 after a 3-1 (25-15, 25-11, 19-25, 26-24) loss to Saint Mary’s Saturday.
The Cougars are now 3-1 in West Coast Conference play.
“I thought Saint Mary’s did a wonderful job at executing their game plan,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We couldn’t control the ball on our side of the net. I thought that was the thing that really hurt us in the end.”
Hamson hit .419 against the Gaels (8-7, 3-1 WCC) and had four blocks. Freshman outside hitter Alexa Gray had 12 kills and three blocks, helped out by Heather Hannemann’s 43 assists. Tia Withers had 10 digs to lead the team. Warner led in blocks with eight.
Saint Mary’s skipped out to a 16-6 lead on a 13-2 run. Gray finally stopped the run with a kill and a block, helped out by Warner. BYU inched its way back, but wasn’t able to handle tough play by Gael Gabby Jolly, who tallied four kills on .800 hitting in the set. The Cougars never recovered, dropping the 25-15 set to Saint Mary’s.
The Gaels once again took the lead in the second set, going ahead 6-2. BYU slowly let Saint Mary’s get away, only recording one point for every two Gael points until Saint Mary’s took a 10-point lead. Kristen Graven and Lauren Corp stepped up for the Gaels, each contributing five kills to help Saint Mary’s to its second set win, 25-11.
BYU tried to get going early in the third set, taking a 4-2 lead with the help of a kill by Warner. Freshman outside hitter duo Kimberly Dahl and Gray put BYU on 7-1 with a kill each and a service ace by Dahl. Kathryn LeCheminant posted her second solo block of the match, which Gray followed with another kill for an 11-5 lead. The teams exchanged points until Hamson had back-to-back kills that increased the lead to 16-8.
LeCheminant pushed the Cougars to a 19-9 lead—BYU’s largest lead of the match—with a block and a kill. Gray kept the Cougars rolling with two kills taking the score to 23-11 before Saint Mary’s responded with an 8-0 run. Warner and Gray blocked Corp to take the set 25-19.
In the fourth set, Saint Mary’s took the lead early, but Gray came back with a kill to tie up the set 8-8. A Gael service error gave BYU a brief edge before a Cougar attack error tied the score up at 13-13. Hamson turned up the heat at the net with back-to-back blocks, helped out by Warner on one and LeCheminant on the other.
Despite maintaining a two-point lead until they hit 23 points, the Cougars allowed Saint Mary’s to catch up and tie the set 23-23. Saint Mary’s took the 25-24 lead on an attack error and Jolly finished off the match on a kill.
BYU plays against Loyola Marymount Thursday at 7 p.m. PDT on the Lions’ home court.
No. 11 volleyball heads to California
PROVO, Utah—Hitting the road for the first time in conference play, the No. 11 BYU women’s volleyball team faces San Francisco Thursday and Saint Mary’s Saturday.
The San Francisco match begins at 6:30 p.m. PDT and the Saint Mary’s match starts at 1 p.m. PDT.
Now 14-0 on the season and 2-0 in West Coast Conference play, the Cougars are having their best start since 2005, when the team went 20-0 before a loss. The BYU all-time record is 23-0 before a loss.
The Cougars have the best record in NCAA Division I volleyball. Only two other schools, Washington and Oregon, are undefeated. Both have an 11-0 record.
Four Cougars have landed in the top 20 of four individual categories in NCAA Division I volleyball. Setter Heather Hannemann is No. 7 for assists per set, with an 11.91 average. In blocking, Nicole Warner holds on to her No. 11 ranking, dishing out 1.48 blocks per set. Middle blocker Kathryn LeCheminant jumped to No. 8 for hitting percentage, hitting .433 (93-16-174). Jennifer Hamson contributes 5.04 points per set, good for No. 17 in the rankings.
As a team, BYU ranks No. 2 in Division I volleyball for hitting percentage (.336) and No. 5 for kills per set (14.85 average). The team is also No. 13 for assists per set (13.54 average) and is tied for No. 1 for win-loss percentage.
Hamson leads the BYU offense with 4.15 kills per set (191 total), supported by freshman outside hitter Alexa Gray with 3.43 per set (153 total). Setter Hannemann directs the floor with her 548 total assists and freshman libero Ciara Parker takes 5.0 digs per set (230 total). Warner and LeCheminant team up at the net with 1.48 and 1 .04 blocks per set, respectively. Hamson also helps out with her own 1.04 blocks per set.
Thursday, the Cougars took down No. 14 Pepperdine 3-0 in their first WCC match of the season. The team followed the victory with a 3-0 win against Gonzaga, BYU’s eighth-straight sweep and 11th sweep of the season. BYU hasn’t lost a set since Sept. 1 in the match vs. No. 14 Tennessee.
The Gonzaga match included BYU’s best set of the season, in which the team held Gonzaga to only seven points.
The Cougars are 3-0 in road games this season.
The Dons are 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the WCC after losing to San Diego and defeating Loyola Marymount in the first week of league play.
Jocelyn Levig leads San Francisco with 3.83 kills per set, helped out by setter Leanna Ludes’ 10.24 assists. Malina Terrell leads the team in blocking with .79 per set and Rebecca Kopilovitch leads in digs with 4.52.
BYU leads the series with San Francisco 4-0 after sweeping the 2011 series with two wins in conference play.
The Dons are undefeated at home this season with four wins.
The Gaels proved a challenge in BYU first season in the WCC. The two teams finished tied for third place with 10-6 conference records. Saint Mary’s won the 2011 series, defeating the Cougars in the BYU Invitational and splitting the league-play matches.
Saint Mary’s leads the overall series 3-5 after last season’s wins against the Cougars.
Kristina Graven contributes 3.24 kills per set to lead the Gaels, also adding 2.98 digs. Dalas Dodd leads in assists with 12.0 per set and Gabby Jolly leads in blocks with 1.21 per set.
Saint Mary’s is 5-7 in 2012 and 0-1 in conference play after losing 3-0 to Loyola Marymount
The Gaels haven’t won at home yet. The team is 0-2 in home matches.
How to watch
A link to live video streaming for the Saint Mary’s match is available on the Gaels’ schedule page with a monthly subscription to Saint Mary’s video content. The fee is $7.95. Live stats are available for free on the schedule page.