BYU women’s volleyball advances to the Sweet 16

Jennifer Hamson and Tia Welling celebrate after a point in a match earlier this year. (The Universe)
Jennifer Hamson and Tia Welling celebrate after a point in a match earlier this year. (The Universe)

The No. 12 BYU women’s volleyball team advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year after wins over Seton Hall (25-16, 25-18, 25-17) and No. 11 Arizona (22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-23) in Tucson, Arizona.

“First and foremost, hats off to Arizona for a great tournament,” coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They were a great host and had a great season. They gave us all we could handle there. It was an outstanding match.”

With BYU down 19-13 in the fourth set, the Cougars had to dig deep to prevent the match to go into a fifth set. The Cougars went on a 5-0 run and brought their deficit to only one at 19-18 after kills from Alexa Gray and Tambre Nobles. Arizona then went on a 4-2 run to take a 23-20 lead. Jennifer Hamson had a kill to bring the Cougars within two, and then Arizona had an attacking error to bring the score to 23-22. Alexa Gray then had back-to-back kills and gave BYU a match point. BYU sealed the victory after an attacking error from Arizona on the final point.

The first set was a back-and-forth set, with neither team taking much of a lead. With the score tied at 20-20, Arizona went on a 3-0 run to take a 23-20 lead. BYU was able to close the gap to one, but Arizona won the set with a 2-0 run.

The Cougars bounced back in the second half and got off to an 8-5 lead. The Wildcats fought back and took a 16-14 lead. BYU was able to tie the set back up at 17-17. BYU went on a 6-0 run after a handful of errors from Arizona and kills from Nobles and Hamson. The Cougars took the set 25-20 after a kill from Hamson.

BYU jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the third set. Arizona slowly inched its way back into the game and tied the set up at 20-20. BYU went on a 3-0 run, but the Wildcats answered with a 3-0 run of their own to tie the match at 23-23. After a BYU timeout, the Cougars had back-to-back kills from Hamson and Amy Boswell to win the set.

Hamson led the Cougars with 19 kills and 14 digs. Gray added 15 kills, and Nobles had 12 kills and 14 digs. Amy Boswell had eight kills and four blocks. Whitney Young led the blocking effort for BYU with seven blocks. Alohi Robins-Hardy had 39 assists, and Ciara Parker had 26 digs.

BYU next takes on No. 6 Florida State on Friday, Dec. 12, in Seattle, Washington. The time for the match has not been set yet.

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