The BYU women’s volleyball team struggled to keep up with No. 18 San Diego this past weekend in California, as the Cougars fell 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-23).
Both the Cougars (13-4) and the Toreros (16-1) are now 2-1 in WCC play.
“They are a very good team and I have to give them credit,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They did things that they needed to in order to win.”
The Cougars appeared to have momentum going into the Saturday match, after defeating Loyola Marymount on Thursday. However, the Toreros came out swinging.
“We were out played and out coached,” Olmstead said. “They hustled and gave it their all. They had great middles and really they were good everywhere. It really comes down to them being ready to play and we weren’t.”
BYU lost by nine points in the first two sets and had a difficult time finding its rhythm. A tough Torero defense made it difficult for the Cougars to score.
“We went in and had to reevaluate and make adjustments,” Olmstead said. “And we played better the last set, but obviously it was not the outcome we were looking for.”
After a disappointing start, the Cougars refused to give up and battled with the Toreros for the third set. Unfortunately, BYU came up short, losing a heartbreaker by a couple points.
Leading the Cougars with kills was junior middle blocker Nicole Warner with eight and sophomores Jennifer Hamson and Jessica Jardine had seven a piece. Junior setter Heather Hannemann had 20 assists and leading the Cougars with digs was freshman Tia Withers with six. BYU had a total of five team blocks compared to San Diego’s seven.
“We learned from this and we will continue to improve from here,” Olmstead said.
The Cougars play Santa Clara on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.
Olmstead said the team needs to put the loss behind them and focus on the next game.
“We have to stay on course and do what we need to in order to get it done at home this week,” Olmstead said.