Argentina - May 9 & Matches 3 & 4

The BYU women's volleyball team being introduced before playing a match on Friday.

May 9 by Christina Measom

After our late, or rather early arrival to the hotel this morning somewhere around 3 a.m., we went to bed for the few hours we had to sleep. All too soon it was time to get up, grab a quick bite to eat and we were on the bus again at 10 a.m. to head to our first match about an hour away. This would be our first of three meetings with the Argentina Junior National Team. We had a short and sweet serve practice and a small snack before the match. [for match details just read what Jen said :] After a close loss, we headed to lunch. We ate lunch with the other team at a beautiful little picnic pavilion. It was quite possibly the best meal we have had all trip - salad, carrots and tomatoes with the perfect amount of some foreign dressing; the typical, but softer than usual bread; numerous servings of barbequed chicken deliciousness [seriously this is no joke...best chicken ever...five servings anyone?]; and of course Pepsi, Sprite and agua [water]. This meal was the highlight of the day foshizzle my nizzle it was the rap-tap tizzle! After this beautiful meal we returned to our humble abode to freshen up, check our emails, and for some of us get a much-needed chocolate bar. The evening was finished off with the second, but not final, match against the Argentina Junior National team. Then we headed off to dinner and to get more rest to prepare to take on the Argentina Junior National Team for the third and final time tomorrow.

ps...dinner was the same delicious chicken!!!!!!! I have probably eaten at least three whole chickens! :) Mmm good!

Match 3 by Jen Connery

The BYU women's volleyball team dropped a tough five-set match Friday afternoon to the Argentina Junior National Team in a make-up of Thursday's match, which was postponed when the Cougars were detained while traveling. Despite coming back to force a fifth set and getting consistent play all around, the Cougars fell 11-25, 25-20, 27-29, 25-20, 13-15 to the national squad in the first of three matches between the two teams.

"I'm very pleased with how we played," said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. "Obviously, I'm disappointed we didn't get the win, but I'm pleased that we showed maturity and competitiveness that we haven't showed yet. The things we fell short in are all things that we can definitely get better at."

Senior Rachel Dyer led a balanced Cougar offensive effort with 11 kills in the match while junior Ashton Hansen added eight and junior Stephanie Lau contributed six. Hansen posted a team-high 12 blocks on the day while sophomore Christina Measom had a stellar service game with four aces.

After struggling in the early going and dropping the first set, the Cougars stormed back in set two, taking an early 8-4 lead. The locals got back to within one point at 8-7 but a 7-2 BYU run once again had the Cougars in control at 15-9. Four straight points the other way had the Argentine team thinking comeback, but another strong BYU push allowed the Cougars to take a 22-14 lead after a block from Dyer and sophomore Christie Carpenter. Facing set point at 24-16, the locals staved off BYU with five straight scores but sent a ball long at 24-20 to give the Cougars the victory, their first game victory of their Argentina tour.

Set three was a battle from the start as both teams tried to establish control of the match. With BYU leading 11-10, the Argentines scored three straight points to gain a lead that would hold to 20-16. However, the Cougars responded with a 7-2 run to regain the advantage at 23-22 thanks in part to a strong front line and the play of setter Brooke Taualii, who capped the BYU run with a service ace. Two points later, the Cougars had set point but sent a serve wide to knot the score at 24-24. BYU got another chance at 26-25 but had the same result. The scales tipped the other way two points later when the locals had set point at 27-26. Taualii's dump over the net saved the point for the Cougars, but, finally, despite two spectacular defensive plays in the decisive point, BYU fell 29-27.

With their backs against the wall, the Cougars came out firing in set four, scoring the first six straight points while running up an early 12-3 lead. The Argentines got back to within five points numerous times but would come no closer as BYU posted the 25-20 victory to force a decisive fifth set. Hansen sealed the deal for the Cougars in the fourth, recording a block and a service ace on the final two points.

BYU started quickly in set five, running up a 5-2 lead after a service ace from Lau. However, after a timely time-out, the locals scored four straight points to go up 6-5. From there, the set see-sawed back and forth with neither team able to gain more than a one-point advantage. The Cougars had a chance to go up late with an 11-10 lead, but two straight points for the Argentines quickly had the match leaning in their favor. Moments later, the locals again converted back-to-back points for the 15-13 win.

Match 4 by Jen Connery

In front of a standing-room only crowd, the BYU women's volleyball team let one slip away in the Cougars' second match of the day against the Argentina Junior National Team on Friday evening. Despite having set-point opportunities in each of the first two sets, BYU fell 24-26, 24-26, 19-25.

Sophomore Christina Measom continued her outstanding day as she posted 10 kills on the night along with senior Bryn Porter. After leading the way with 12 blocks in BYU's earlier match, a five-setter, junior Ashton Hansen posted five rejections in round two to lead the Cougars.

The match was a battle from the first serve as the teams, playing their second match in the space of eight hours, fought point for point in set one. Trailing 8-4, the Cougars battled their way back to take a 15-13 lead after back-to-back kills from Porter. After the advantage held to 19-17, it was the Argentines' turn for a rally as they tied the set at 20-20. The two teams traded points from there until Porter put down her fifth kill of the night followed by a service ace from Rachel Dyer to give BYU set point at 24-22. However, the ace would be the last point scored by the Cougars as the locals scored four straight to post a 26-24 win.

As the second set got underway, the Cougars quickly found themselves trailing 8-4 as the Argentines stepped up their game and began firing on all cylinders. However, BYU scored eight of the next 10 points to take a 12-10 lead and force an Argentina timeout. The locals scored two quick points out of the break to knot the score, and the battle was on. The Cougars managed to pull ahead of the experienced Junior National Team with a 9-2 run and looked on the way to victory, leading 22-16. However, spurred on by the crowd, the Argentines rallied to pull within two points at 23-21. After Measom gave BYU set point on the next ball with a kill down the middle, the Argentines staged yet another miraculous comeback, scoring five straight points to take a 26-24 win and give the Cougars a curious sense of deja vu.

Determined to climb back into the match, BYU pulled out to a 6-3 lead in the third set only to see the Argentines claw back to take a 15-13 advantage. But the Cougar block, led by Hansen, proved powerful during a 4-0 spurt that put BYU up 17-15. However, from there, the match belonged to the home team as the locals scored 10 of the next 12 points to seal the 25-19 win.

BYU will play the final match of its tour on Saturday night against the Argentina Junior National Team.

The team is introduced Argentina style before the first match on Friday.

The BYU women's volleyball team in action.

The BYU cheering section consisted of Bro. and Sis. Evans (our chaperones), Janie Penfield (Senior Woman Administrator) and Farrah Olmstead.

The team and officials after the match.

"Barbequed chicken deliciousness."

Rachel Dyer catches up on some much-needed sleep after our big meal.

A packed house for the evening match.

BYU head coach Shay Goulding speaks with a member of the Argentine media after the match.

Kiana Rogers and Melissa Lake autograph a t-shirt after the evening match.