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rachelhawks | Posted: 20 Oct 2012 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Volleyball drops tough five-set match to Broncos


SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Alexa Gray’s career-high 23 kills wasn’t enough to prevent a tough 3-2 loss (31-29, 20-25, 25-21, 13-25, 16-14) to Santa Clara on the road Saturday, the team’s second loss of the season.

"We didn't play our game," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "All credit to Santa Clara. They were the better team today. I thought we just had too many errors on our side of the court to be able to win a volleyball match."

BYU is now 19-2 on the season and 7-2 in conference while Santa Clara improves to 16-7 overall and 5-3 on the season.

Gray hit .488 on the match and was helped out by Jennifer Hamson’s 17 kills. Nicole Warner had 12 blocks, passing former Cougar Lindsy Hartsock on the BYU all-time career block assists list. Warner now has 556 career block assists and is No. 4 for block assists in BYU history.

Heather Hannemann recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 46 assists and 10 digs and Tia Withers led in digs with 12.

Despite taking the early lead in the first set, BYU allowed the Broncos to come back and tie up the set 7-7. Santa Clara went on to take an 11-7 lead before the Cougars could react. Neck-and-neck through the rest of the half, the teams tied 16 times with nine lead changes.  Tied at 25-25, BYU kept the edge as the teams exchanged points until Santa Clara pulled off a block and kill to take the set 31-29.  

The Cougars came back on fire in the second set with a 5-0 run. The Broncos fought back within two points, but Gray held them off with a kill. Gray continued to show up with unbeatable kills at just the right moment to preserve the two-point lead. The freshman outside hitter increased the lead to 21-15 on a kill, and the Broncos weren’t able to recover, giving BYU the 25-20 set.

Hamson and Gray kept BYU ahead in the third set until a 5-0 Santa Clara run put the Broncos in control 13-10. Well-placed kills increased Santa Clara’s lead to 19-14. Gray tried to stop the momentum with back-to-back kills, but it wasn’t enough to get BYU back on top. The Broncos won the third set 25-21.

After an 8-0 to run start the fourth set, BYU pushed its lead to 10 points in a 12-2 lead. A point exchange kept BYU ahead by 10 until two Bronco kills cut the lead to 15-7. The Cougars didn’t let the response stop them, and Kathryn LeCheminant took the 25-13 set on a kill, pushing the match to five sets.

BYU couldn’t shake the Broncos in the fifth set, giving Santa Clara a momentary lead before jumping back ahead 10-9. BYU stayed ahead until the Broncos tied the set 14-14. Santa Clara’s 4-0 scoring streak took the set 16-14 and secured the match for the Broncos.

The Cougars continue their road play next week, taking on Gonzaga Thursday before heading to Portland for a Saturday matchup against the Pilots.

BYU vs. Santa Clara Box Score

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rachelhawks | Posted: 16 Oct 2012 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Volleyball plays one at home, one on the road


PROVO, Utah—In the first split week of the season, the No. 16 BYU women’s volleyball team plays one match against Saint Mary’s at home before hitting the road to play Santa Clara.

The Saint Mary’s rematch will start at 7 p.m. MDT Thursday at the Smith Fieldhouse and will be BYU’s Dig Pink match for cancer awareness. The Cougars will face Santa Clara Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT  in Santa Clara, Calif.

BYU is 18-1 on the season, good to tie for the best win-loss record in NCAA Division I volleyball. The Cougars are tied with Penn State, which is ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. BYU is in second place in the league with a 6-1 record in West Coast Conference play.

Two senior Cougars rank in the top 20 in NCAA stats, with middle blocker Nicole Warner No. 6 for blocks per set (1.62) and setter Heather Hannemann No. 15 for assists per set (11.48). Overall the team ranks No. 1 for hitting percentage (.319) and No. 13 in blocks per set (2.92).

Jennifer Hamson leads the BYU offense with 3.92 kills per set. Libero Tia Withers contributes 2.70 digs per set.

BYU is 7-0 on Elaine Michaelis Court and looks to continue that unbeaten streak against Saint Mary’s. The Gaels handed the Cougars their only loss of the season on Sept. 29, when Saint Mary’s won 3-1 in Moraga, Calif.

Saint Mary’s

The Gaels are 10-8 on the season and 5-2 in conference. Though not ranked, Saint Mary’s has been receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll since Oct. 1. Last week, the Gaels defeated Gonzaga 3-0 Saturday after having a bye on Thursday.

Saint Mary’s leads the series 5-3 after defeating BYU in September.

The Gaels are led by Kristina Graven who averages 3.48 kills per set. Dalas Dodd helps out with 12.22 assists per set (No. 4 in NCAA stats) and Sarah Reams leads the back row with a 3.41 digs average.

Santa Clara

BYU meets Santa Clara for the first time this season after sweeping the Broncos in 2011. The Cougars lead the series 3-0-0 after two 3-0 wins last year.

Santa Clara is 14-7 overall and 4-3 in conference so far. Last week the Broncos fell to Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. The team has a non-conference match Tuesday against Sacramento State before facing BYU on Saturday.

Taylor Milton leads the Broncos with 2.88 kills per set and Katherine Douglas records 2.44 digs per set. At the net, Lacey Maas leads with 1.57 blocks per set.

How to watch

BYUtv will broadcast the Saint Mary’s match. Live video streaming will be available on Live streaming and live stat links can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.

Fans who wear pink to the Thursday match will be eligible for a $3 ticket.

Live video streaming and live stats for the Santa Clara match are available on the match’s Game Central page.

BYU vs. Saint Mary's Notes

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