The No. 17 BYU women’s volleyball team took down Loyola Marymount in a hard-fought 3-0 sweep Saturday.
The Cougars remain undefeated at home and now stand 11-2 in the West Coast Conference, 23-2 overall.
BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said LMU was a good team and played well.
“I knew it’d be tough,” Olmstead said. “They’re good, and they’re very well coached. I wasn’t surprised at all that it was a tough match. I knew it was coming, but the win is another step for us.”
The first two sets between BYU and LMU were extremely close, being pushed into extra points. The Cougars were able to pull through and take both sets over the Lions 26-24 and 28-26.
Sophomore Tia Withers said the Cougars struggled to find their composure during the first two sets of the match.
“In the first two sets we made a lot of errors on our side,” Withers said. “Throughout the whole (match) we felt there were errors that we were making that didn’t really involve LMU very much. It was just things that we needed to focus on to do better.”
Moving into the third set BYU and LMU went through eight tied scores before the Cougars were able to break away from a 9-9 tie and take the lead. Junior opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson served the Cougars through a six point run and put the team 12 points ahead of LMU. Freshman outside hitter Kimberly Dahl then closed the set for the Cougars at 25-13 with a kill.
Dahl agreed the Cougars did not play as well the first two sets but stepped it up in the last set.
“We did a lot better in the last set,” Dahl said. “We served really tough, and Jen did really well.”
Withers said LMU is one of the best defensive teams in the conference, but the Cougars were able to keep the ball moving and keep LMU on their toes, especially in the last set.
“We had a few game changing digs, and we served a lot tougher,” Withers said. “Jen went on that string of serves, and we only got through about four rotations, so I think our serving really took them out of it.”
Senior setter Heather Hannemann lead the Cougars with 35 assists, and freshman Alexa Gray contributed 16 kills. Libero Ciara Parker added 10 digs, and Withers contributed 11 digs. Hamson gave 11 kills to the Cougars and put up a fight against LMU with eight blocks.
Dahl said the win for the Cougars is even more important for the team as the conference tournament approaches.
“Every single game from here on out is really important, and we have to win,” Dahl said. “It’s just another game that we had to win. It’s huge for us.”