Not a vacation for the Cougs in Malibu

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Traveling to Malibu, Calif., to take on the WCC conference leaders, the BYU women’s volleyball team came up short against No. 20 Pepperdine.

The Cougars lost the match 3-1 (16-25, 17-25, 25-22,25-27 ) but gave it their all against the Waves on Saturday afternoon, according to head coach Shawn Olmstead.

“They caught us off guard and we started on our heels,” Olmstead said. “Eventually we started to understand that we could play with these guys [San Diego] and we started to play our game.”

In the first set, the Cougars (14-5) struggled early committing three errors to let the Waves (11-5) jump out to an early lead. BYU played tough and battled until a series of perfectly placed kills were set by Pepperdine’s senior middle blocker, Kim Hill. The Cougars were down by nine at one point in the set and were able to make a few plays before the Waves ended it.

“The girls came out and wanted to put up a fight,” Olmstead said. “They certainly were not going to give up.”

The second set looked promising for the Cougars when senior outside hitter Christie Carpenter landed the first point with an incredible kill; however, Pepperdine found a way to kick up the intensity. The Waves played smart and were able to slow the Cougars’ offense down.

“Their defense was really good and it made it difficult for us on offense,” junior setter Heather Hannemann said.

Following the break, BYU stepped on the court ready to play. A streak of perfect sets by Hannemann enabled the Cougars to rally back and win the third set in a nail-bitter.

“We know they [Pepperdine] are a good team, but know we can definitely hang with them if we just play our game,” Carpenter said following the match.

And the Cougars were ready to play their game. They put up a fight in both the third and fourth sets, giving Pepperdine a run for their money.

“We put it all out there,” Hannemann said. “We did not want to end with a loss like we did last time we were out here in California so we gave it our all.”

The final set was rough for the Cougars, losing by two to end the match. BYU put up a tough fight, battling back and forth for the lead. But the Pepperdine momentum would be too much, and BYU would come up just short in the loss.

Leading the Cougars in kills was Carpenter with 14 and sophomore opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson with 12. Hannemann had a total of 32 assits and junior libero Kendalyn Hartsock contributed 21 digs to the Cougars’ defensive efforts.

“This is something where we just have to get over it and learn from our mistakes,” Olmstead said. “We have to play next Saturday so we need to be ready for that.”

The Cougars will have a week to recover and prepare before their next match on Oct. 15 against Portland in Oregon.

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