Women’s volleyball wraps up season looking forward to tournament

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SAN DIEGO — The No. 21 ranked women’s volleyball team played its final match of the West Coast Conference on Nov. 23 against San Diego, losing 2–1 in a heated matchup. This match, which was a winner-takes-all, left the Cougars in sole possession of second place heading into the WCC Tournament.

Up until this game, the Cougars were tied with the Toreros for first place in the conference with each sporting a 15–2 record in WCC. The Cougars swept San Diego in the first matchup earlier this season when, at the time, the Toreros were ranked No. 2 nationally.

Kathryn LeCheminant goes up for a spike during a match against Montana Sate. Photo by Bella Torgerson, BYU Photo
Kathryn LeCheminant goes up for a spike during a match against Montana State. (Photo by Bella Torgerson, BYU Photo)

BYU’s record upon finishing conference play is 15–3 in WCC and 22-6 overall. All six losses this season have come on the road, three of which were lost during pre-season tournament games.

The Cougars finished out the regular season with a perfect 11–0 home record. Since a loss to Gonzaga in 2011, they have remained undefeated with 26-straight wins in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Sophomore outside hitter Alexa Gray leads the team in kills with 3.83 per set, and junior Tambre Haddock follows as a close second with 3.45 kills per set.

On Nov. 20, two of BYU women’s volleyball players were named to the All-Academic West Coast Conference team for maintaining academic excellence while being significant contributors to their team. Among those honored were sophomore libero Ciara Parker and junior defensive specialist Tia Withers Welling.

Parker, who leads the team in digs at 3.78 per set, made the team with a 3.64 GPA in her exercise and wellness major. Welling, who has made the list for the second consecutive year, maintains a 3.79 GPA in her P.E. teaching/coaching major while digging 2.74 balls per set.

BYU is ranked fifth nationally in blocks per set, and Whitney Young is ranked fourth nationally. In hitting percentage the Cougars are ranked 20th in the nation, and Camry Godfrey is ranked 38th in the nation in assists per set.

Head coach Shawn Olmstead is excited with where the Cougars are at right now and thinks they are at a good spot entering the NCAA tournament.

“We’ll be ready and very well prepared,” Olmstead said. “I’m excited; I like what we’re doing. I think we’re playing at a really high level. If we can keep up that consistency it’s going to be great.”

The final WCC game of the year will be played on Nov. 30 between Pacific and non-conference foe UTEP, and the WCC Tournament will be played in December.

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