Seniors pace BYU in victory over San Diego and clinch WCC championship

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BYU Cougars are West Coast Conference champions for the 2014 season (Universe)
BYU Cougars are West Coast Conference champions for the 2014 season. (Universe)

No. 13 BYU clinched at least a tie of the WCC championship with its four-set victory (25-13, 25-15, 21-25, 25-15) over San Diego, led by Amy Boswell’s career night at the Smith Fieldhouse Friday night.

Boswell tied teammate Whitney Young’s record of 17 total blocks in a match. Boswell and Young are the top two leading blockers in the NCAA.

“The girls played an excellent match,” coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They let off the gas a little bit in the third set, but they were able to rebound and get after them in the fourth set. It was impressive.”

The Cougars, 22-4 (13-2 WCC), started off strong in the fourth set as they took an early 8-3 lead after two blocks from Tambre Nobles and two kills from Jennifer Hamson. San Diego started to inch its way back into the set by bringing its deficit to only three at 14-11. Alexa Gray responded for BYU with three straight kills to extend the Cougars’ lead to 17-11. BYU was able to close out the set and the match 25-15 after an ace from Hamson.

BYU jumped off to a quick lead in the first set going up 10-4 after two kills a piece from seniors Nobles and Hamson. The Cougars extended their lead to nine at 15-6 after two aces from Tia Welling. BYU cruised to a 25-13 first-set victory led by Boswell, who had four kills and three blocks in the set.

BYU picked up where it left off in the second set as it got off to a 12-4 start. The set was never close, as BYU took it 25-15, led by three kills from Alexa Gray.

San Diego took its first lead of the night by taking the first point of the third set. BYU responded by going up 8-3, but the Toreros stormed back to tie the set up at 8-8. BYU and San Diego traded points, and the Cougars inched out to a 19-16 lead. San Diego responded by going on a 4-0 run to take the lead, and it was able to close out the set by going on another 4-0 to take the set 25-21.

BYU was led by Boswell’s 17 blocks and seven kills. Gray led the Cougars with 19 kills and six kills. Hamson added 14 kills and eight digs. Nobles had a solid match with six kills and six blocks. Camry Godfrey Willardson was the game leader in assists, with 38 assists.

BYU held its senior night before the game and honored its four seniors: Hamson, Nobles, Welling and Hannah Robison.

The Cougars have three remaining away games to end the regular season. BYU heads to Portland on Thursday, Nov. 20, to face the Portland Pilots.

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