BYU falls to Santa Clara in a five-set match

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The No. 16 BYU women’s volleyball team lost to the Santa Clara Broncos Saturday 3-2.

The loss against Santa Clara is the second loss of the season for the Cougars. The Cougars now stand 7-2 in the West Coast Conference and 19-2 overall.

BYU Head Coach Shawn Olmstead said the Cougars were off today, and too many mistakes on their part led to their loss.

“All credit to Santa Clara,” Olmstead said. “They were a better team today. We just had too many errors on our side of the court to be able to win a volleyball match, no matter who our opponent was.”

In the first set of the match, BYU took a 4-1 lead over Santa Clara, but the Broncos tied it back up at 7-7. Santa Clara then took the next four points, giving them a 11-7 lead over BYU. The Cougars returned with their own four point run, tying it back up at 11-11. From there the teams went through 13 tied scores. At 29-29, an attack error by BYU and a kill by Santa Clara closed the match 31-29 for Santa Clara.

The Cougars opened the second with with a four point run, and six kills by freshman Alexa Gray helped the Cougars keep the lead. A service ace by freshman Ciara Parker and a kill by junior Jennifer Hamson closed the set for the Cougars 25-20.

The third set opened with a back-and-forth rally through five tied scores until BYU broke away with the lead. Santa Clara tied it back up at 10-10, and then pulled away with their own lead. BYU was never able to catch back up and Santa Clara won the set 25-21.

With two service aces on the service line, senior Heather Hannemann helped the Cougars open the fourth set with an 8-0 run. Kills by senior Nicole Warner, Hamson and Gray, combined with multiple attack errors from the Broncos, led the Cougars into a safe 10 point lead. At 23-13, kills by juniors Jessica Jardine and Kathryn LeCheminant each closed the set for the Cougars 25-13.

The fifth set opened with back and forth lead changes between the teams. BYU gained the lead at 12-14, but a four point run from Santa Clara closed the set 16-14, ending the match 3-2 for Santa Clara.

Hannemann lead the Cougars setting with 46 assists, 10 digs and three service aces. Gray made a 23 career-high in kills and contributed three digs. Hamson and Jardine contributed eight digs each. Hamson also made an impressive 17 kills and sophomore Tia Withers contributed 12 digs for the Cougars.

Olmstead said going into next weeks matches, the Cougars are going to have to be more confident in what they can do as a team.

“We’ve just got to be a little more confident in who we are and who we can be,” Olmstead said. “We’ve got a huge road trip in front of us, so we’ve just got to get that confidence going. We definitely lacked that today.”

The Cougar’s will travel to Spokane next week to take on Gonzaga on Oct. 25. The Cougars will then face Portland in California on Oct. 27.

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