The No. 14 BYU women’s volleyball team beat Santa Clara 3-0 in the Smith Fieldhouse Saturday.
The win against the Broncos improves the Cougar’s West Coast Conference record to 12-2, with 24-2 overall. The last time the Cougars took on the Broncos in California they lost 2-3, so the win against the Broncos meant a lot.
Freshman Ciara Parker said Santa Clara is a good team, but the Cougars worked hard to beat them.
“They always have a lot of fight and they’ve got really talented girls and a good coaching staff, so I thought they played well,” Parker said. “As a whole we did really well. We rose to the occasion. I’m proud of my team.”
Head Coach Shawn Olmstead said the Cougars played well and it was good to get a win against Santa Clara.
“It’s nice to win,” Olmstead said. “We started off really strong, kept the pressure on them. We let up a little in that second set, even more maybe in that third. We don’t like that, but I really like how the kids responded. They really came through and got the momentum rolling there in that third set and took it all the way to the finish.”
The first set opened with a kill by senior Nicole Warner and an 8-0 run for the Cougars. Santa Clara was not able to catch back up and the set closed 25-9 for the Cougars.
The second set opened with a 3-0 run for the Cougars. The Broncos managed to stay close, but the Cougars maintained the lead and closed the set 25-19.
Santa Clara came on strong at the start of the third and held the lead until kills by juniors Jennifer Hamson and Kathryn LeCheminant helped the Cougars tie it back up at 17-17. Freshman Alexa Gray contributed three more kills to push the Cougars father ahead, and Hamson closed the set 25-20 with a kill.
Olmstead said the Cougars did a good job making a comeback in the third set.
“We made a couple key digs and we had some big swings by Alexa Gray and Jennifer Hamson,” Olmstead said. “I don’t remember there being any blocks, which is kind of our forte, so it was those moments”
Senior setter Heather Hannemann lead the Cougars with 32 assists and held a .50 hitting percentage. Sophomore Tia Withers contributed 14 digs. LeCheminant and Gray gave the Cougars six and 13 kills respectively. Hamson recorded 11 kills and 10 digs against Santa Clara. Hamson also broke 1,000 career kills during the match against Santa Clara, ending the match with 1,008 career kills.
Hamson said she was not aware she broke 1,000 career kills and all of her kills were to help out her team.
“I didn’t know that was happening, but it’s always great to try and do good things for your team.” Hamson said. “You always try to help out your teammates, whether that’s going to be a kill or just doing your part to help out. Our teammates have a lot of trust in each other so we just play together.”
Olmstead said now that the match is over, the Cougars are going to turn their focus to next week’s opponents.
“We’re focusing on the next game,” Olmstead said. “That’s Pepperdine on Thursday and to us that’s all that matters. We’ll put all our energy and time in practice to those guys. Like we’ve done all season, you just take it one match at a time, and we really have to do that again.”
The Cougars will travel to California for two matches next week. The Cougars will take on Pepperdine on Thursday, Nov. 15, and then face San Diego on Saturday Nov. 17.