Cougars Find Second Win at Nike Invite
PROVO -- Saturday’s morning match brought the second win of the Nike Classic Tournament for the BYU women’s volleyball team. The Cougars defeated Weber State in three sets (25-19, 25-20, 25-17) to improve their record to 4-2 and remain undefeated in the tournament.
“It’s always nice to win in three,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “We stayed on top of our game for the most part. Our attack wasn’t as balanced in set two, but we came back to win it.”
Kayla Walker led the offense with nine kills with Casey Speredon Thurston tallying seven. Setter Kiana Rogers had 23 of the 27 assists against the Wildcats. Christie Carpenter added three service aces and five digs to the stat sheet.
BYU came out strong in the first set going on a four-point run shortly after play began to establish a 6-2 lead. The Cougars continued to pull away with a .333 team hitting percentage. The set looked to belong to the home team, which owned a 10-point advantage, but Weber State kept fighting and pulled within five. In the end, Kayla Walker’s kill was too strong for the Wildcats and the Cougars took the set 25-19.
The two teams looked more evenly matched in the second set with the score going back and forth. BYU earned two and three-point advantages throughout, but Weber State was never far behind. Walker recorded four kills in the set and Casey Speredon Thurston had two for the Cougars. With the score a close 20-19, BYU went on a 5-1 run to clinch the second set.
Despite the efforts of the Wildcats, the Cougars looked comfortable during the third set. They led by as many as six points and won five straight points to finish the match. The third set also brought BYU’s highest hitting percentage of the day at .429. The team notched seven blocks on the day and held WSU to a .165 overall hitting percentage.
Chelsea Bair and Amy Fackrell led Weber State with an impressive 10 kills each. Fackrell recorded one of the team’s three service aces and topped the hitting percentage stats for the Wildcats with .600.
The Cougars will conclude the Nike Classic against Kansas State Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.
23 Kansas State downs Cal Poly in the second day of competition of the BYU Nike Classic
The Nike Classic volleyball tournament at BYU continued for its second and final day of play in the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday. The first match of the day seeded the No. 23-ranked Kansas State Wildcats (3-2) against the Cal Poly Mustangs (0-6).
The first set was back and forth with neither team pulling ahead or maintaining a significant lead. Both teams hit a fairly low hitting percentage with K-State hitting .157 and Cal Poly hitting .200. The Wildcats were led by Caitlyn Donahue and JuliAnne Chisholm with five and six kills, respectively. Cal Poly was led in kills by Dominique Olowolafe with five and Megan McConnell added four. In the end, Kansas State won the set 27-25.
The second set of the match started with a different tone as Cal Poly came out firing on all pistons starting with a three-point run right to start.
Kansas State would later come back with a 4-0 run of their own, but Cal Poly maintained the lead for the rest of the set and kept at least a five point lead over Kansas State as they would go on to win the set 25-20. The Wildcats were led by Chisholm with an impressive 11 kills. Cal Poly was led once again by Olowalafe and McConnell with eight and 10 kills, respectively.
After the break, Kansas State came back and put Cal Poly away 25-16 due to a 5-0 run in the beginning of the set, giving the Wildcats a comfortable lead which they kept for the rest of the set. Kansas State solidified its win towards the end of the set with another 4-0 run.
Kansas State sealed the victory in the fourth set as they outscored Cal Poly 25-19 winning the set and the match. Kansas State went on two back-to-back scoring runs in the middle of the match to maintain the lead. Three Wildcats had kills in the double figures as Donahue had 11, Kelsey Chipman had 13 and Chisholm came away with a match-high 18 kills.
BYU women’s volleyball season tickets for the upcoming 2023 campaign will go on sale beginning Wednesday, July 26.