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wweekes | Posted: 30 Nov 2012 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Volleyball tops NMSU 3-0 to advance in NCAA Tournament


PROVO, Utah -- The No. 12-seeded BYU women's volleyball team swiftly took care of New Mexico State 3-0 (25-8, 25-17, 25-14) in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday at the Smith Fieldhouse.

"I’m just so happy for these kids," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "They followed our game plan. They came out exactly the way we wanted them to. Our number one key tonight was to put the pressure on them. They got their hands in front of the attackers and made a bunch of nice digs in the back row. I’m overall really, really pleased with them staying the course."

Junior opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson led the Cougar attack with a double-double, 13 kills and 12 digs, for her eighth time this season. Senior middle blocker Nicole Warner led BYU in blocks, with eight, and hitting percentage, .714, while senior setter Heather Hannemann rallied for 28 assists.

BYU (27-3, 13-3 WCC) had the advantage against New Mexico State (22-11, 12-6 WAC) in kills (38-22), blocks (12-5) and digs (39-23).

The Cougars jumped out on top with three straight points to kick off the first set. A kill from Warner sparked a 9-0 rally that put BYU on top 12-2. Freshman outside hitter Kimberly Dahl contributed three kills during the run. The teams exchanged points until two back-to-back kills by freshman outside hitter Alexa Gray and Hamson moved the score to 22-7 in the Cougars' favor. New Mexico State attempted a comeback with three straight points, but it wasn't enough as a kill by Hamson brought BYU within one of the set  victory. Nicole Warner finished the set off on the next point with a kill to overpower the Aggies, 25-8, and take a 1-0 lead.

After being down 4-2 early in the second set, the Cougars worked their way back and Hamson tied the match at 5-5 with a kill that sparked a 4-0 run. A block by Hamson and Warner moved the Cougars ahead 15-10. Another 6-0 run, aided by three Hamson kills, padded BYU's lead to 20-11. The Aggies managed five of the next seven points to work their way within six. With BYU ahead 23-17, Dahl finished off a long rally to bring up the set point. The Cougars grabbed the second set, 25-17, with a kill by Gray.

The duo of Hamson and Warner blocked New Mexico State to move in front 3-0 to start the third set. Down 5-1, the Aggies scored four straight to tie the set. The Cougars switched the momentum back in their favor, taking the next two to regain the lead. BYU ran away with it from there with three consecutive kills by Hamson, Gray and Hannemann. They then scored another three points in a row to extend the lead to 16-9. The Cougars moved in front 22-14 as Warner registered another block and kill. Following a Hamson kill, sophomore libero Tia Withers wrapped up the set, 25-14, and match with an ace.

 "I think that’s a good team [New Mexico State] who was on a nice little roll there," Olmstead said. "[NMSU coach] Mike Jordan does a great job. He’s comfortable here in the NCAA Tournament and they were playing well through that WAC Championship."

BYU advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament against Oklahoma Saturday at 7 p.m. MST at the Smith Fieldhouse.  The match will be broadcast on BYUtv and live streamed on

"I’m excited for these kids and it's right where I think they deserve to be," Olmstead added.

NMSU vs. BYU Box Score

Oklahoma defeats Arizona State


Kicking off the opening round of the NCAA DI Women's Volleyball Championships, Oklahoma defeated Arizona State 3-2 (20-25, 25-19, 25-18, 19-25, 15-13) Friday night at Elaine Michaelis Court.

Morgan Reynolds led the Sooners with 21 kills and Julia Doyle totaled 51 assists for Oklahoma. Sooner libero Maria Fernanda led all players with 27 digs, and Alexis Pinson had a game-high eight blocks for ASU.

"This was a big battle between a Pac-12 and a Big 12 team," Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo said. "We happened to come through on the fifth set, and we fought like champions. It was a great win, but tomorrow is a different day and it brings a different challenge."

Arizona State head coach Jason Watson credited his players for their hard work throughout the season.

"I'm incredibly proud of our student-athletes," Watson said. "This has been an enormous accomplishment for us, to get to this point. I'm sad that it's over, but I certainly don't want anybody to minimize the amount of effort and work it has taken to get to this point.

Arizona State had control of the match early, building an 11-4 advantage on the strength of a 7-0 run. The Sooners regained composure but were never able to pull within four points as the Sun Devils won the set 25-20. Erica Wilson had six kills in the opening set for Arizona State while teammates Macey Gardner and Whitney Follette had four kills apiece. ASU also had two service aces in the set. Sallie McLaurin led the way for Oklahoma with five kills in Set 1.

Oklahoma responded in the second set with a quick start, working up a 15-8 lead midway through the set. ASU cut the lead to 16-13, but Oklahoma regained momentum after a timeout and won the set 25-19. Reynolds finished it off for the Sooners with two kills in a row to even the match at 1-1. Reynolds had four kills in the set while her teammate Tara Dunn recorded five.

Two consecutive service aces by Fernanda highlighted a 10-0 run for Oklahoma in the third set. Pinson finally ended the drought for ASU with a kill that brought the score to 12-6 in favor of the Sooners. Follette had three kills during a spurt that brought the Sun Devils within two points at 14-12, but Oklahoma prevailed, taking the set 25-17 to go up 2-1 in the match. Reynolds added five more kills during Set 3 and Fernanda had 10 digs in the set.

Pinson and Nora Tuioti-Mariner teamed up for a pair of blocks that gave ASU a 9-6 advantage before the first timeout of Set 4. Oklahoma never seriously challenged ASU for the remainder of the set and the Sun Devils tied the match at 2-2 with a 25-19 win. Reynolds had another five kills during the set, but it wasn't enough as the Sun Devils forced a fifth set.

The Sooners led 5-2 early in the final set, but a couple nice kills from Wilson helped ASU take an 8-7 lead before the teams switched sides. With the score tied 9-9, Arizona State showed great defensive poise and energized the crowd after Gardner capped off a long rally with a kill. Another kill by Gardner put ASU up 11-9, but a pair of kills from Reynolds helped Oklahoma regain the lead at 12-11. The Sooners had a chance to win serving 14-12, but Gardner responded with another kill for ASU. A strong spike by Reynolds was enough to finish things off on the next rally, however, as Oklahoma claimed the set and match.


rachelhawks | Posted: 27 Nov 2012 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU set for NCAA first-round action


PROVO, Utah—The No. 12-seeded BYU women’s volleyball team welcomes three teams to the Smith Fieldhouse Friday for the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Arizona State will play against Oklahoma at 5 p.m. MST and New Mexico State will take on the Cougars at 7 p.m. MST.

BYU will also host the second round match Saturday at 7 p.m. MST.

In the neutral-site match between Arizona State and Oklahoma, the Sooners will be the home team.


The Cougars finished the regular season 26-3, tying with San Diego for West Coast Conference champions with a 13-3 league record. BYU won the tiebreaker to get the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Claiming a share of the conference crown gave BYU four individual all-conference awards, with Jennifer Hamson taking Player of the Year, head coach Shawn Olmstead receiving Coach of the Year, Alexa Gray garnering Freshman of the Year and Nicole Warner winning a share of the Defensive Player of the Year award. All three were named to the all-conference team, while setter Heather Hannemann received All-WCC Honorable Mention honors. Gray and Kimberly Dahl were named to the WCC All-Freshman team.

Hamson leads the Cougars with 4.02 kills per set, 1.80 digs per set and 1.23 blocks per set. Her average points per set, 4.98, is good for No. 22 in Division I volleyball. Hannemann averages 11.25 assists per set and is No. 26 in national stats.

On defense, Warner proves a major threat at the net with 1.75 blocks per set (No. 3 in NCAA stats). She also helps out on offense with a .421 hitting percentage that is No. 8 in the country. Libero Tia Withers records 3.21 digs per set.

Olmstead is in his second year at the helm of the Cougars and has a 47-12 career record.

New Mexico State

New Mexico State is 22-10 on the season and 12-6 in the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies upset Idaho in the WAC Championship match on Wednesday, becoming conference champions and claiming the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament despite their No. 4 seeding in the conference tournament. They were the lowest seed to ever win the WAC Championship.

Meredith Hays is head of the Aggie offense with 3.97 kills per set and also has 2.31 digs per set. Ciara Brown helps out with 6.05 assists per set. On defense, Desiree Scott leads with a 1.22 blocks average and Stephanie Ziegler controls the back court with 3.06 digs per set. Hays and Scott were named to the All-Western Athletic Conference First Team.

Mike Jordan is in his 15th season as head coach of New Mexico State.


Oklahoma is 21-10 overall and 10-6 in the Big 12 after knocking off Kansas State in the Sooners’ regular season finale Saturday. They finished fourth in their conference.

Big 12 First Team member Sallie McLaurin recorded 2.86 kills per set and 1.41 blocks per set during the regular season. Julia Doyle, who was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team, averages 9.49 assists per set to lead the Sooners. With 4.77 digs per set, Maria Fernanda leads the Oklahoma defense.

Santiago Restrepo has been head coach of the Sooners for nine seasons.

Arizona State

Arizona State ended the regular season 20-13 overall and 9-11 in Pac-12 play. In the Sun Devils’ last match, they defeated in-state rival Arizona 3-1. They finished sixth in their league.

Macey Gardner leads the Sun Devils with 4.46 kills per set and collects 2.38 digs per set. Setter Allison Palmer aids with 11.63 assists per set and Stephanie Preach leads in the digs category with 4.74 per set.

The Sun Devils are coached by Jason Watson, who coached the Cougars from 2005-2007 before becoming head coach at Arizona State in 2008. Watson also played setter for the BYU men’s volleyball team from 1991-1994.

Ticket Info

All session tickets are on sale now at until Friday morning. Individual match tickets will go on sale Friday morning at 9 a.m. MST. For more information, visit the BYU Ticket Office website

Live Streaming

All matches will be streamed live online at

Live Stats

Live stats will be available on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.