Women's volleyball takes down Gonzaga with another 3-0 sweep

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Heather Hannemann sets up the ball for her teammate during Saturday’s match against Gonzaga.

The BYU women’s volleyball beat Gonzaga Saturday in a 3-0 sweep extending the Cougars winning streak to 2-0 for the conference and 14-0 for the season.

The sweep against Gonzaga also gave the Cougars their eighth sweep in a row and 11th sweep of the season.

Head coach Shawn Olmstead said the last time the Cougars played Gonzaga at home was disappointing so he was thrilled with the match outcome.

“That’s a good team over there,” Olmstead said. “And I’m happy with the way we executed our game plan and put a lot of pressure on them throughout the match.”

The first set of the match opened with the Cougars and Gonzaga battling for points. The teams went through six tied scores until two kills by junior Jennifer Hamson pulled the Cougars ahead. From there the Cougars slowly climbed farther ahead until a kill by junior Kathryn LeCheminant closed the set for the Cougars at 25-17.

Freshman Kimberly Dahl said the team played really well together which helped the team perform well in the match.

“We were really unified and had energy,” Dahl said. “We feed off each others energy and helped each other out.”

The Cougars showed that energy in the second set when a kill from freshman Alexa Gray started the Cougars off on a string of kills. The kills turned into a 14 point run led by freshman Ciara Parker at the service line. The run gave the Cougars an amazing 17-2 lead before Gonzaga was able to take some points. The Cougars quickly finished off the second set with another five point run, ending 25-7.

Olmstead said he was happy with the run the Cougars had in the second set and with Perker’s serving.

“That was Ciara again,” Olmstead said. “She did that against Pepperdine. I was thrilled because we pressured their passes and our blocks got in their way. We made some great digs throughout that little series so that helped us out a bunch to get ahead like that.”

Gonzaga opened the last set strong taking the first few points, but kills by Dahl, Gray and Hamson helped tie the Cougars up at 4-4. From there the teams volleyed points until Gray led the Cougars with an impressive six kills, pulling them ahead once again. The set closed at 25-14 with a couple of attack errors by Gonzaga and two more kills by Gray.

Olmstead said he was impressed with Gray’s and Dahl’s performances throughout the match.

“Alexa was phenomenal,” Olmstead said. “She’s done that a bunch of times so it’s fun to be able to see her do that again. I’m really happy with what Kim Dahl did coming off the bench. She took some big swings and stuffed a few balls and gave us a start. She did a wonderful job.”

Gray led the Cougars with 12 kills and had an impressive hitting average of .714 throughout the match. Hamson followed behind with 11 kills and an ace. Dahl gave the Cougars five kills, three digs and held a hitting average of .571. LeCheminant and senior Nicole Warner contributed seven and four kills respectively, while sophomore Tia Withers gave the team five digs. Senior Heather Hannemann helped the Cougars with 35 assists and Parker gave the team three service aces and 17 digs.

Junior Coriann Thompson said the team is doing fantastic, but they need to be ready for next week’s matches.

“The biggest thing is to come back strong and have two good days of practice,” Thompson said. “We need to rest up, heal up and be ready for what those teams have got for us, because they’re going to be out to keep us from being undefeated. They’re going to be ready to beat us.”

The Cougars will travel to California next week to take on opponents San Francisco and Saint Mary’s.

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