Five-Game Nailbiter Goes to Aggies
PROVO -- In-state rival Utah State (10-0) defeated the BYU women’s volleyball team (3-7) 3-2 (23-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 16-18) Tuesday night in the Smith Fieldhouse. The loss takes the all-time series between BYU and Utah State to 49-15 in favor of the Cougars.
"It really comes down to serving and serving well," said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. "Every game they beat us was just barely by the skin of their teeth so our errors got to us. I think there a lot of positives from tonight. I think the girls and the lineup will work and all those things are super positive."
Despite the loss, four Cougars were in double-digit kills, with Christie Carpenter leading both teams with a match-high 17 kills. Senior Stephanie Snow and true freshman Jennifer Hamson both tallied 15 kills while sophomore middle blocker Nicole Warner had 11 kills, hitting at a .529 clip.
Libero Kendalyn Hartsock anchored the back row with 18 digs while setter Kiana Rogers had 11 digs and Coriann Clark had a career-high 12 digs. Rogers also chalked up a season-high 56 assists on the night.
The Aggies got out to a 9-3 lead in set one but the Cougars battled back to come within one point. BYU was unable to come all the way back, falling 25-23 after a kill from Shantell Durrant. Carpenter and Warner tallied four kills each in the first set, with Carpenter hitting .500. Hartsock added three digs while Hamson chalked up three blocks, tying her career high in just one set.
"I tried a new lineup again in the first set and I thought it was going to work but it didn't," Goulding said. "And then I went back to something we're more familiar with and we have Measom back so we got back in rotation and I feel like we found it, which is very important for me."
The Cougars opened with a 4-0 lead to start set two before the Aggies finally put a point on the board with a kill by Shay Sorensen. The Aggies continued to chip away at the score until they knotted it at 19 and 20. Utah State came away with a second win 25-23 for a 2-0 match lead.
Snow tallied five kills in set three to lead the Cougars on the attack. She hit at a .571 clip and added one solo block and two assisted blocks.
The Cougars’ 5-0 lead was short-lived after the Aggies came back to tie set three at 6-6. Kills from Hamson, Snow and Warner put the Cougars up six, but Utah State tallied three-straight points to come within two. Coming out of a BYU timeout, Carpenter tallied another kill to put the score at 18-15. A kill by Hamson, a block by Warner and Hamson and a service ace put away set three for the Cougars 25-19.
Carpenter led the third set with four kills while Rogers had three blocks, 12 assists and two digs.
Posting another 5-1 run to start the fourth set, the Cougars soon lost momentum, giving the Aggies the lead at 8-7 after two service aces from Laurel Bodily. Towering over the net at 6-foot-6, Hamson barely jumped for a kill to knot the score at 12. A free-ball kill from Hamson put the Cougars up again at 13-12. The score again knotted at 15 and 16, before the Cougars pulled away, as Snow had back-to-back kills to put the team up 19-16.
Full speed ahead, the Cougars dominated the rest of the set, finishing off the Aggies 25-19, sending the match to five. Warner and Snow led on the attack with four kills apiece while Clark added five digs. Warner hit a perfect 4-for-4.
Snow started out the fifth set with a kill, followed by a Utah State attack error to give BYU the lead at 2-0. After tying the score at four, the Cougars posted four-straight points ending with back-to-back kills from Carpenter to put the Cougars up 8-4. Utah State rallied and the Cougars and Aggies were tied at 13, 14, 15 and 16 until the Aggies pulled out the win at 18-16.
Carpenter and Snow both tallied three kills in set five while Hartsock had four digs.
The Cougars will next travel to Hawaii to play matches Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. HT.
BYU women’s volleyball season tickets for the upcoming 2023 campaign will go on sale beginning Wednesday, July 26.