The BYU women’s volleyball team swept No. 11 Hawaii on Saturday, advancing the Cougars to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Alexa Gray led the Cougars with 13 kills, as BYU handled Hawaii 25-21, 25-17, 25-13.
“Hats off to Hawaii and their fans on a great season,” said BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead. “Our team played a complete match from start to finish. Our middles Kat (LeCheminant) and Whitney (Young) played unreal. Our defense was strong, and our outside hitters scored a lot of points for us out at the pins. It’s exciting to move on, and we look forward to the matchup in Los Angeles. I can’t say enough about the work and time our assistants put into our match preparation.”
Gray not only had 13 kills in the win, but tied her career high in blocks with seven. Junior Tambre Haddock had her third-straight double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Ciara Parker had a team-high 15 digs, with fellow sophomore Camry Godfrey adding 35 assists. Freshman Whitney Young, currently ranked in the top 10 for most blocks per set in this year’s tournament, had a team-high eight blocks.
The first set of the match was the closest of the three sets with BYU winning 25-21. Haddock, a Northern Colorado transfer, led the Cougars with five kills, one block and one assist. Godfrey played well, getting in position to contribute an impressive 13 assists.
BYU’s momentum carried over into the second set, with the Cougars winning 25-17. The Warriors struggled, with BYU taking a 6-1 lead coming off of three Cougar blocks. Gray sealed the set with two straight kills.
Hawaii could not overturn the momentum of the Cougars, with the third set ending 25-13. BYU continued to hit over the .30 mark while Hawaii hit a lackluster .025. The Warriors struggled to find their offense, and the Cougars capitalized on their mistakes. Haddock sealed the match with a kill coming off of a pass from Parker. This will be the second consecutive trip to the Sweet 16 for the Cougars.
BYU will advance to the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, where the Cougars will face No. 6 USC in Los Angeles on Friday. Broadcast links can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.