The No. 16 BYU women’s volleyball team beat Saint Mary’s in a 3-0 sweep at BYU’s Dig Pink match Thursday night.
Taking the win in this rematch with Saint Mary’s was a big deal for BYU, because Saint Mary’s is the only team to have beaten the Cougars so far this season.
Senior Nicole Warner said the Cougars had been looking forward to this match ever since they lost to Saint Mary’s three weeks ago.
“We were so ready,” Warner said. “They’re a great team and we have to give them credit because they got a lot of really good plays on us. They passed really well and their coach is phenomenal, but I really think that we came together and just doing what we did best helped us win this match.”
In the first set of the night, the Cougars and Gaels went through eight tied scores before the Cougars took the lead with a five point run. A service ace by sophomore Tia Withers closed the set 25-21 for the Cougars.
The Cougars opened the second set in full force and gained a 12 point lead at 14-6. The Gaels fought hard but were never able to catch back up, and the Cougars took the set 25-12.
The Gaels opened the third set with a strong lead, but the Cougars went on a killing spree to catch up and pull ahead. Multiple kills by junior Jennifer Hamson and freshman Kimberly Dahl contributed to the Cougars success. The Cougars took the last set 25-18, ending the match.
Head Coach Shawn Olmstead said he was excited about this match and happy the Cougars were able to step up and play well.
“We knew we could play with these guys if we passed well and we did that a lot better,” Olmstead said.
Olmstead also said the girls had better ball control tonight and their serving contributed to much their success.
“I knew that if we could serve tough we could get them off the net and they wouldn’t be able to run their offense as officially,” Olmstead said. “It takes their middle out a little so we were happy about that.”
During the match, Withers gave the Cougars two service aces and nine digs. Freshman Ciara Parker and junior Kathryn LeCheminant each contributed an ace as well. Senior Heather Hannemann helped the Cougars out with 37 assists and six digs. Hamson lead the Cougars with 21 kills, her season high, and an impressive hitting average of .594. Freshman Alexa Gray contributed an impressive 11 kills and hit .500.
Gray said the Cougars played well tonight and stuck to their game plan. Gray also said the Cougars hope to keep up their good work when the take on Santa Clara this weekend.
“I hope that we can stay consistent and keep playing the way we have been, because it’s been really good,” Gray said.
The Cougars now fly to California to take on Santa Clara. The match will be held 1 p.m. PDT on Saturday and live states will be available on Santa Clara’s Game Central page.