The No. 16 BYU women’s volleyball team defeated against the No. 24 University of San Diego Toreros for the second time this season.
“I like how our girls came out focused with energy and ready to to from the beginning,” head coach Heather Olmstead said. “They know how important it is to win every match. The girls really executed.”
Each team the Cougars face pushes them to play off of their opponent’s weaknesses. Playing a team for the second time in one season poses as a challenge as it exposes the weaknesses of both teams. The Cougars beat the Toreros at San Diego earlier this month in a sweep and beat them again on their own court.
The final scores of each set were 25-23, 25-19 and 25-20 respectively. The Toreros made the Cougars fight for each point.
“They were playing us tough,” Olmstead said. “We actually had to work really hard for points. I don’t know if it looked like that, but they played really scrappy. We had to work very hard to manufacture points.”
The blocking from the Cougars was a major key to their victory. The Cougars made 18 team blocks by the end of the night where as the Toreros only made six.
BYU had worked hard on their blocks, focusing on sealing low on low hits and going out on high hits. The Cougars were extremely disciplined at the net in tonight’s game. Whitney Young Howard lead her team with nine block assists.
“Personally I love getting blocks because it shuts them down,” Howard said. “They’re giving me their best and I’m shutting (them) down and putting it back in (their) face. It’s nice when you block them over and over again. You just try and get in their head.”
The Toreros gave everything they had to this game. It was the blocking from the Cougars that hurt them. San Diego had a total of 39 kills, 39 set assists and 37 digs by the end of the game. BYU made 34 kills, 32 set assists and 28 digs.
Camry Willardson made 24 of the 32 set assists as well as three kills. Willardson was extremely aware of the defense of her opponents and would send the ball across the net and into the undefended hole on the opposite side.
“I try and be an offensive threat for our team,” Willardson said. “If I see it and it’s open, I just take the opportunity. I think it makes them harder to defend us because it’s another offensive threat.”
The Cougars are eager for their next game against Saint Mary’s and will play again in the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7:00 p.m.