Women’s volleyball returns home as ranked team


The BYU women’s volleyball team became ranked No. 21 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association coaches’ poll Monday after impressive wins in the Wichita State Invitational this past weekend.

BYU now joins two other teams from the West Coast Conference in the top-25 rankings: No. 12 Pepperdine and No. 17 San Diego.

Head coach Shawn Olmstead said the No. 21 ranking was credit to the girls’ hard work and showed their dedication to what they have been working on this season.

The Cougars jump to No. 21 knocks out Colorado State and California and moves them past four other teams in rankings. This is the first time the Cougars have been ranked since their 2007 season.

The Cougars are now preparing to host the BYU Invitational this weekend at the Smith Fieldhouse where they hope to further improve their ranking. The Cougars are excited after coming out on top at the Wichita State Invitational, expanding their winning streak to 6-0 and beating two previously top-25 ranked teams.

Olmstead said overall the girls worked hard and deserved the wins they received. He said it was exciting beating top-ranked teams such as No. 14 Tennessee and No. 24 Colorado State.

Olmstead also said there are always improvements the girls can make as they move on to prepare for their invitational this weekend.

“I still think we can improve on our serve and our service returning,” Olmstead said. “Also our offensive tempo, we’d like to improve on that.”

The team made a total of seven service errors and seven reception errors in their five-set match against Wichita on Friday. On the offensive side, the Cougars pulled out an impressive 71 kills with junior Jennifer Hamson leading the team in her career high of 25 kills.

On Saturday afternoon the Cougars played four sets against Colorado State with eight service errors and only four returning errors. During their last four-set match of the tournament against Tennessee, the Cougars made only three service errors and five returning errors. On defense they made 69 digs and 16 total team blocks.

Hamson said she was happy with the results of the tournament and the girls played well.

“I thought the tournament went really well,” Hamson said. “Hopefully we can learn from the things we’ve done and get better.”

The BYU Invitational will take place on Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8 in the Smith Fieldhouse.  The tournament will open with Portland State facing Bowling Green at 4 p.m. The Cougars then take on Utah that evening at 7 p.m. This match will be broadcasted on BYU TV.

Utah and Portland State then compete Saturday morning at 10 a.m. followed by a match between BYU and Bowling Green at noon.

Saturday evening Bowling Green and Utah face off at 5 p.m. The tournament will then wrap up with BYU playing Portland State at 7 p.m.

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