Women’s volleyball looking to bounce back

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After a loss to ranked San Diego last weekend, the BYU women’s volleyball team looks to bounce back. The Cougars take on the Santa Clara Broncos tonight in the Smith Fieldhouse.

“We have worked on seeing [Santa Clara] and being able to react well to them,” junior Nicole Waner said. “Seeing the game is everything.”

The Cougars (13-4 overall, 2-1 in WCC) will have made some adjustments after the San Diego match, but BYU remains confident in its abilities to succeed in the tough WCC conference.

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Heather Hannemann, Kathryn LeCheminant and Katie Vaughn put on their best Cougar faces in a September match.
“We all need to rebound and get over the last match [against San Diego]. We lost and so now is the time to step up,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We have to continue to get better and I know we will because we are a tough team as well.”

The match against San Diego was a struggle for BYU defensively as well. The Cougars were unable to block and dig as well as they have in previous matches.

“We are emphasizing team work and defense,” freshman libero Tia Withers said. “If we can make just a few more clean digs and blocks each game, we will provide more opportunities to create and convert points for our team.”

BYU has had a few days to practice and prepare for the match against Santa Clara (7-7 overall, 2-1 in WCC) and plans to execute an effective game plan.

“We have to focus on the serve and our passing,” Olmstead said. “We have to execute those skills at a high level to run our offense and keep Santa Clara from running their offense.”

Santa Clara has played well on the road this season and looks to keep up that pace while in Provo.

“They are traditionally a very strong volleyball program,” Olmstead said. “They recruit well and they are in a beautiful location in terms of volleyball participation. They have kids playing volleyball competitively year-round.”

BYU has hit .236 on the season and is led by sophomore opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson, junior middle blocker Nicole Warner and senior outside hitter Christie Carpenter. The Broncos are led by sophomore outside hitter Katherine Douglas, and the team collectively has hit .225 this season.

“This week in practice we worked on covering the hitter and giving them another chance to get a kill,” Withers said. “We are also putting a lot of work toward our mobility on defense and protecting more of the court.”

The Cougars are 4-2 at home and hope to draw more fans out to cheer them on.

“Part of controlling the momentum of the game relies on cheering,” Withers said.

 

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