BYU women’s volleyball faces No. 2 Texas in the Final Four, three Cougars honored

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BYU women's volleyball celebrates after a victory in the NCAA tournament (BYU Photo)
The BYU women’s volleyball team celebrates after a victory in the NCAA Tournament. (BYU Photo)

The No. 12 ranked BYU women’s volleyball team’s magical season continues Thursday night vs. No. 2 seeded Texas in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

BYU won its first four games of the NCAA Tournament to reach this point, defeating Seton Hall, Arizona, Florida State and Nebraska. Over the course of those four games, BYU only lost two sets, going 12-2 in that time, sweeping Nebraska and Seton Hall. Texas has been on a similar tear, only losing one set in its first four matches.

Texas finished the regular season with a 23-2 record and a No. 6 national ranking. The Longhorns didn’t lose a game away from home this season, going 15-0 on the road and at neutral sites. Texas’ only losses were against No. 5 ranked Florida and rival Oklahoma.

Three BYU volleyball players received All-American honors this week. Senior opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson was honored as First-Team All-American for the second season in a row, leading the Cougars with 3.75 kills, 1.35 blocks and 1.46 digs per set. Junior outside hitter Alexa Gray was named Second-Team All-American after being named MVP of the West Coast Conference. She contributed 3.63 kills and .81 blocks per set this season. Sophomore middle blocker Amy Boswell was named Honorable Mention All-American, with the second-highest blocks per set in the nation with 1.67, second only to teammate Whitney Young.

BYU women's volleyball coach Shawn Olmstead holds up the trophy for winning the Coach of the Year Award (BYU Photo)
BYU women’s volleyball coach Shawn Olmstead holds up the trophy for winning the Coach of the Year Award. (BYU Photo)

BYU coach Shawn Olmstead was also named AVCA Coach of the Year. This is Olmstead’s fourth year as head coach.

BYU women’s volleyball has only made it to the NCAA Final Four one other time, in 1993. The Cougars finished the regular season with a 26-2 record but lost to Penn State in four sets.

If the Cougars defeat Texas, they will play again on Saturday against the winner of the Penn State/Stanford match. The game tonight will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 5 p.m., and if BYU wins, it will play again at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, also on ESPN2.

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