The BYU women’s volleyball teams added three more wins to their preseason winning streak at the Wichita State Invitational this past weekend in Wichita, Kan.
The Cougars started the tournament off against Wichita State on Friday night. The match was a close back and forth battle with the Cougars taking the first, third and final set, ultimately coming off match victors.
Junior Jennifer Hamson and freshman Alexa Gray together lead the team with a combined total of 45 kills. Senior setter Heather Hannemann also contributed to the teams victory with 57 assists throughout the match, beating her all-time best.
Head coach Shawn Olmstead said the match against Wichita was a good test for the team at the beginning of the tournament.
“We played well at sometimes and not so well at others,” Olmstead said. “We were consistent. We were able to bounce back and make the next play and rebound, even when we were down.”
On Saturday afternoon the Cougars took on No. 24 Colorado State. Showing no wear from the the tough five-set match they played the night before, the Cougars dropped only the first set and pulled out on top to win the match 3-1.
Senior middle blocker Nicole Warner made quite an impact with 12 kills, seven blocks and an .857 hitting percentage. Hamson also contributed greatly in the match making an impressive 20 kills and six blocks.
The Cougars closed the tournament Saturday night against No. 14 Tennesse. Once again the Cougars dropped the first set but put up an impressive fight to take the next 3, winning the match 3-1.
Junior Jessica Jardine contributed 13 kills and Gray contributed 12. Freshman Ciara Parker led the defense with 18 digs, followed closely by Hannemann and sophomore Tia Withers with 14 digs each.
Olmstead said the nice thing about this tournament was that the girls playing was really balanced. He said they each had big matches and deserved their wins against their ranked opponents.
“It’s fun to beat a ranked opponent,” Olmstead said. “I was happy for the girls. They’ve worked hard.”
At the end of the tournament, Hamson was named MVP. Hamson, Parker and Warner were also named to the all-tournament team.
Along with Olmstead, Hamson said the tournament went really well and is looking forward to next week’s invitational.
“I thought everyone played really well,” Hamson said. “We’re really excited. Hopefully we can keep our energy up.”
After defeating two top 25-ranked teams and lengthening their winning streak to 6-0, the Cougars will return home to host the BYU Invitational on Sept. 7 and Sept. 8. against Utah, Bowling Green and Portland State.