No. 9 BYU fell to San Diego in a five-set thriller (25-18, 22-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-8) Friday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego.
“San Diego was better than us tonight,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We competed at times but didn’t string enough points together to come out with a win.”
BYU 16-3 (7-1) and San Diego 13-7 (6-2) started off the fifth set by trading points. With the score at 6-6 the Toreros went on a mini 3-0 run to give them the 9-6 advantage. The Cougars were not able to get back into the set, and San Diego took the fifth and deciding set 15-8.
BYU took an early lead in the first set at 7-5. San Diego was able to tie the set at 10-10 before it went on a 5-2 run to give it a 15-12 lead. The Cougars were able to come back and tie the set back up at 17-17 after a couple of kills from Alexa Gray. The Toreros then went on an 8-1 run to close out the set at 25-18.
BYU jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the second set thanks to three kills by Gray. San Diego came back and tied the set back up at 15-15, and then the two teams traded points. With the score at 21-21, BYU went on a 4-1 after three kills from Gray, and the Cougars tied the match up at a set a piece.
BYU kept its momentum and got off to an 8-3 lead. The Toreros were able to close the gap to three, but the Cougars never gave up their lead. BYU had a balanced attacking game in the set with kills from Gray, Jennifer Hamson, Tambre Nobles, Whitney Young and Amy Boswell. The Cougars took the third set 25-17.
The fourth set started off with the two teams trading points. San Diego took a slight lead at 12-11 and was able to extend its lead little by little. The Cougars were never able to take the lead again, and the Toreros took the fourth set 25-20 and forced a fifth and deciding set.
The Cougars were led by Gray, who had 20 kills and a .444 hitting percentage. Nobles and Young added nine and eight kills respectively. Boswell also had a solid performance with 13 blocks.
The Cougars return home Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. (MDT) to take on the No. 24 Loyola Marymount Lions. The match can be viewed on TV and online through BYUtv.