Blue Shuts Down White in Five

Jennifer Hamson helped the blue team to a 3-2 win against the white team Tuesday.

PROVO, Utah (Aug. 23, 2011)—Prefacing Friday’s home opener, the BYU women’s volleyball team scrimmaged at the annual blue and white match Tuesday in the Smith Fieldhouse. Fans gathered to watch a 3-2 (20-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-27, 17-15) blue team victory.

“I thought they worked hard and the energy was there, but we’re in this process of becoming better and so we’ve got to keep improving over time,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “It’s a year-long process, it’s not just right now and today, so there’s a lot of things we can change right now and adjust and hopefully improve going forward before this weekend.”

Sophomore outside hitter Jessica Jardine led the team in kills and blocks with 13 and seven, respectively. Jardine was followed by sophomore opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson with 12 kills at .414 hitting and senior outside hitter Casey Thurston with 12 kills and .364 hitting. Setter Heather Hannemann led in assists with 45.

The white team held strong through the first set, getting points off several blue team errors. Sophomore middle blocker Jessica Jardine’s service ace put white ahead 12-9. Hannemann tried to rally the blue team with her own ace as the game wore down, but Thurston halted blue progress with a block to put the white team in position for the set win. A blue error gave white the first set of the match, a 25-20 win.

Blue charged back in the second set with a new lineup. Thurston shone on the blue team, knocking down four kills and one block. With the help of sophomore middle blocker Kathryn LeCheminant and Hamson, the blue team took a 6-1 run to bounce ahead 17-8. Jardine capped off the match with another ace to take the set 25-13 for blue and tie the match 1-1.

The Cougars kept the score close in the third set. A mid-set 6-0 scoring streak, including two points from sophomore middle blocker Kimberli Boswell, put the blue team up 16-11. Now playing for the white team, LeCheminant contributed two kills and a block to help the white team back within two points of blue until the end of the set, when errors and a kill from Boswell gave the blue team a 24-20 lead. A Hamson kill ended the game to put the blue team up 2-1.

White held on in the fourth set despite falling behind 8-5 to start the game. Blue team errors pushed the white team ahead, but Thurston tied the game with a block for blue. Undeterred, Camilla Phillips recorded a kill for white and an error sent the match to a fifth set.

The blue team took victory after a 5-1 run late in the set. Thurston put the blue team into match point position and junior middle blocker Nicole Warner finished the match with a block for the 3-2 blue victory.

The Cougars welcome No. 7 Illinois to Elaine Michaelis Court Friday at 5:30 p.m. for the home opener and first match of the BYU Nike Invitational. Fans can get in free with a BYU I.D. card and will receive a bounce-back voucher to get in free to Saturday night’s 8 p.m. match against Saint Mary’s.