Another sweep against Gonzaga for the Cougars

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Jennifer Hamson puts the ball over the net during the home match against Gonzaga Sept. 22.

The No. 18 BYU women’s volleyball team took down the Gonzaga Bulldogs in a 3-0 sweep Thursday night, their second sweep against Gonzaga this season.

The Cougars now stand 8-2 in the West Coast Conference and 20-2 overall.

Head Coach Shawn Olmstead said the Cougars played well and executed passes and attacks well. Olmstead also said Gonzaga put up a good fight.

“We like to come out here and get a win,” Olmstead said. “I thought we weren’t as consistent as we should be, but the ball rolled our way a few times more than theirs. I thought Gonzaga dug really well. They out-dug us. That shows some fight and some heart that is always good to see from your opponent. They played well and at times got us a little flustered.”

Through the first half of the opening set, BYU and Gonzaga went through nine tied scores, bouncing back and forth for the lead. At 15-15, an attack error by Gonzaga and a kill by freshman Kimberly Dahl gave the Cougars a lead, which they maintained the rest of the set. The Bulldogs were never able to catch back up, and three kills by freshman Alexa Gray and a kill by junior Jennifer Hamson closed the first set 25-21 for the Cougars.

The second set opened in a similar manner as the first with five tied scores from the start until the Cougars were able to break away and take the lead. Multiple kills by Hamson, Gray and Dahl helped the Cougars gain a comfortable lead and closed the set with another win 25-16.

The Cougars started off the third set strong and worked to a five-point lead. At 16-10, the Bulldogs went on a four-point run to try to catch up, but the Bulldogs only came within two points of the Cougars’ lead. A kill by Dahl and an attack error from the Bulldogs closed the set 25-22, giving the Cougars the match.

Hamson said Gonzaga played really well but the Cougars put up a good fight on the offense.

“We did what we needed to do to win,” Hamson said. “Gonzaga plays great at home, and they’re a great team. We had to do our best to beat them.”

Senior Heather Hannemann led the Cougars with 36 assists and eight digs against the Bulldogs. Sophomore Tia Withers and freshman Ciara Parker contributed 11 and six digs respectively. Hamson led the Cougars with 12 kills, and junior Kathryn LeCheminant and senior Nicole Warner each contributed six kills. Gray made nine kills, eight digs and had an impressing hitting percentage of .444. Dahl also contributed eight kills and hit .333.

For their next match, Olmstead said the girls will need to improve on moving to the ball and receiving serves.

“It’s important that we get our side going a little better,” Olmstead said. “That’s going to help us keep pressure on opponents and get after them.”

The Cougars will travel to California Saturday to take on Portland at 3 p.m. PDT. Live video streaming and live stats will be available on Portland’s Game Central page. Results will be posted to the Cougars’ athletics page following the match.

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