BYU women’s volleyball seniors want to go out on top

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Ari Davis
Makenna Santiago saves the ball earlier this season. Santiago is one of four seniors on the women’s volleyball team. (Ari Davis)

No. 10 BYU women’s volleyball team is heading into the home stretch of its season and for four players, it will be their final games as Cougars.

Seniors Amy Boswell, Whitney Young Howard, Hannah Robison and Makenna Santiago have played together for the last four years and each have been key parts of this year’s team.

“They’ve done a fantastic job,” said BYU head coach Heather Olmstead. “They’ve just been exceptional leaders on the court and off the court and they’ve helped shape our culture from the second they got on campus, so I think they are leaving a great tradition and legacy of BYU volleyball.”

Boswell and Howard play opposite of each other as middle hitters and blockers. They both have earned numerous awards during their tenure on the BYU volleyball team. Boswell and Howard have each been named WCC Defender of the year and were ranked No. 2 and No. 1 blocker in the country in 2014, respectively.

Robinson and Santiago have been a prominent presence on BYU’s back row this season as they have picked up digs and served aces to help get the team to its 24-3 record.

“I feel really excited to be back here at the Field House for one more game and just really grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here at BYU,” Santiago said.

But just because the season is coming to an end doesn’t mean the team is finished working hard.

“When we come in the gym every day we’re really focused and know what we want to do and what we want to accomplish,” Santiago said. “So I think we’re going to be ready to peak when we need to.”

The seniors have led and motivated the team in different ways to get the Cougars to their No. 10 national ranking. For fifth-year senior Boswell, she’s focused on trying to model what it means to be a part of the BYU volleyball team.

“I’ve always tried to lead by example, just working my butt off, getting into the gym and trying to have energy,” Boswell said.

Boswell also said she tries to be a calming influence and provide words of encouragement for her young team members when they’re in a tough situations.

As far as favorite memories from her time at BYU, Boswell said it has been building relationships with her teammates and growing so close.

Santiago said a recent favorite memory of hers is the team win over No. 5 San Diego a few weeks ago.

“Two big teams playing a big game in the Field House when it was completely packed, super loud and coming out on top with a sweep — it’s nights like those that are my favorite,” Santiago said.

The Cougars wrap up their regular season next week and will then await the NCAA tournament seeding.

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