BYU women’s volleyball suffers upset at hands of Santa Clara

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The No. 21 BYU women’s volleyball team faced an unexpected loss on the road in a four-set match (25-27, 22-25, 25-23, 23-25) against conference foe Santa Clara on Nov. 9.

“They served us tough, and we didn’t respond nor make the changes,” said head coach Shawn Olmstead. “Hats off to Santa Clara and their staff. Tough one to lose, but we have to move on and prepare for our next opponent.”

Sophomore Ciara Parker shouts out encouragement during a road match earlier this season. Photo by Bella Torgerson/ BYU Photo
Sophomore Ciara Parker shouts out encouragement during a road match earlier this season. (Photo by Bella Torgerson/BYU Photo)

Sophomore Alexa Gray led the team in kills with 19 on 47 attempts with junior Tambre Haddock in close second with 14 kills. Senior Kathryn LeCheminant and junior Hannah Robison added 10 kills each. Sophomore libero Ciara Parker dug a team-high of 18 digs on defense.

BYU (20-5, 13-2 WCC) was immediately behind Santa Clara (9-14, 4-10 WCC) in the first set after the Broncos had a pair of 4-0 runs on the Cougars. BYU was forced into a timeout at 11-7, and following it the Broncos added to their lead, taking a 15-9 advantage. The Cougars were not ready to give up and battled to tie the set at 21. The teams traded points until Santa Clara took the first set 27-25.

In the second set, the Broncos gained a quick 8-3 lead and held that lead until the Cougars stepped on the gas. BYU went on a 7-1 run and came within a point of Santa Clara at 20-19. The Cougars couldn’t stop the Broncos’ offense, and Santa Clara effortlessly took the second set 25-22.

With an attempt to battle back, the Cougars traded points with the Broncos in the third set and tied the set at 8-8. Santa Clara pulled ahead slightly until BYU went on a 6-1 run and took its first lead of the match at 20-18. A series of Gray kills and a kill from Robison led the Cougars to set victory at 25-23.

In the fourth set, the Broncos took the lead at 9-6 and again at 15-13 before BYU was forced into a timeout. The score remained within two points the rest of the set until Santa Clara’s momentum led it to take the set and match 25-23.

This unfortunate loss leaves BYU in a tie for first place in the West Coast Conference with San Diego as both teams now have two losses on their record.

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