By Matthew Montague
In her first year as a starter, junior middle blocker Carrie Bowers stepped up to lead the Cougars in the BYU Mizuno Classic.
The women”s volleyball team played three games over the weekend, ended the classic with a record of 1-3, and now stands 2-5 on the year.
“We would have liked to have another win,” Coach Karen Lamb said. “We”re getting better each match.”
The Cougars split the two matches on Friday September 6. They opened the day with a loss in the noon match to Oral Roberts, but bounced back to defeat Wake Forest in five games later that day.
The Golden Eagles swept the Cougars in three games 30-28, 30-27, and 30-16. The Cougars played well and hung tough in games one and two, but ran out of gas in game three.
Coming off the loss to Oral Roberts, BYU responded and defeated the Demon Deacons in a see-saw match 24-30, 31-29, 19-30, 30-27, 15-10.
“We deserved to win that match. We played hard,” Lamb said.
Sophomore outside hitter April Varner led the Cougars to victory over the Demon Deacons by recording her third double-double of the year with 16 kills and 17 digs.
Redshirt freshman outside hitter Erin Webb came off the bench to spark the Cougars as she tallied up 10 kills, six digs, and eight blocks.
The Cougars dominated at the net by out-blocking Wake Forest 17.5-9. Junior setter Karina Puikkonen led the Cougars in blocks with eight, including two solo blocks.
After splitting the two games on Friday, the Cougars were swept in three games by No. 6 Florida, Saturday evening September 7 in the Smith Fieldhouse 30-26, 30-27, 30-20.
Florida dominated early in game one and jumped out to a 16-8 lead. The Cougars clawed back and tied the game at 20, but could not get over the hump to win the game.
In game two, the Cougars once again got off to a slow start and dug themselves into a deep hole and trailed 18-9. The Cougars battled back to pull within two 29-27, but could not complete the comeback.
The Gators proved their No. 6 ranking in game three by putting the game out of reach early, and coasted to win game three and take the match.
“They are a nice team and very athletic. They jump very high and that put us out of sync at the net,” Lamb said.
Bowers was the lone Cougar named to the all-tournament team.
BYU hosts Weber State, Tuesday night September 10 at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.