Cougar volleyball looks to seal three-match win streak

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The BYU women’s volleyball team is back in Provo to play Loyola Marymount (13-11, 6-5) tonight. The Cougars’ only five-set match this season came in their last game against LMU. The Lions are currently in fourth place in the WCC standings, just behind the Cougars.

“We have to be our best self,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We need to stay focused and not get caught up in the moment and just play our game.”

It was a battle at the net the last time the Cougars faced the Lions. All five sets were close with no game ending with a margin larger than six points. The defensive side of the game has been a focus for the Cougars this week in practice.

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BYU middle block Kathryn LeCheminant hits the ball during Thursday's game against Pepperdine at the Smith Fieldhouse.

“We’re always working on improving our defense,” Olmstead said. “We have to pass better and we need to dig the ball better and really focus on the defensive side of the net.”

In their last match against the Lions, the Cougars won the first, third and fifth sets to seal a victory. After playing two solid matches on the road, BYU plans to maintain that momentum and play strong volleyball.

“We’re continually working hard [and] we have that positive vibe,” said sophomore middle blocker Kathryn LeCheminant. “We’re working on playing our game. It really just comes down to us being the best team that we can be [and] that’s how we’ll win.”

It has been over a month since the last BYU- LMU match and both teams have improved dramatically and faced tough competition.

“I think it’s obvious to anybody who watches us that we’re picking up tips, being more consistent, serving tough and passing well,” LeCheminant said.

The last BYU-LMU match was dominated by sophomore opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson, who had 21 kills, and junior setter Heather Hannemann, who had 52 assists. Senior outside hitter Casey Thurston had 13 kills and junior middle blocker Nicole Warner added 12.

“We just have to play our game, we have to play BYU volleyball,” LeCheminant said. “We can’t let what happens on the other side affect our game.”

BYU will host another home match on Saturday night against San Francisco (13-11, 5-6). The Cougars played the Dons one week ago, and BYU stole the show in a 3-1 victory.

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