Carpenter and Cougars Take Down Pilots

Senior Christie Carpenter recorded 20 kills, a season-high, and 11 digs for her third double-double of the season against Portland. (Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)

PORTLAND—Outside hitter Christie Carpenter’s season-high 20 kills led the BYU women’s volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-16, 25-17, 18-25, 25-15) win against Portland Saturday afternoon, increasing the Cougars’ record to 15-5 and 4-2 in conference.

“This is a nice way to start off our road trip,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I thought the girls played well. They were able to fight through losing the third set and came back in set four. They passed well  and did some nice things.”

Along with her 20 kills on .341 hitting, Carpenter contributed 11 digs for her third double-double of the season. Opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson also had a double-double with 16 kills and 10 digs. Heather Hannemann had 45 assists and Nicole Warner led with four blocks. Libero Kendalyn Hartsock had 18 digs.

The Cougars punched out four quick points before the Pilots (7-14, 1-7) answered with three of their own. A kill by Casey Thurston pushed the lead to 9-5. BYU maintained the four-point lead until a block and kill by Warner followed by a Pilot service error put the Cougars ahead by seven. Carpenter locked up the first set 25-16 on a kill.

Portland didn’t let the Cougars off as easily in the second set, pushing three ties to open the set. BYU surged ahead for a 6-3 lead, but Portland brought it back to tie two more times before bouncing ahead of the Cougars. Three-straight Portland errors put BYU back on top 14-12. Hamson increased that lead to 20-15 with a kill. Back-to-back Carpenter kills put BYU on track to take the second set and Carpenter and Warner closed out the set 25-17 with a block.

The Pilots came out of the break swinging, going up 4-1 before the Cougars could get in gear. BYU fought back for the 7-7 tie and bounced ahead 9-7 with the help of yet another of Carpenter’s kills. Portland tied it up again 11-11 and continued forward for a 12-11 lead, launching a neck-and-neck battle for control of the set. After four ties, BYU allowed the Pilots a 3-0 run to take a 17-14 lead. The Cougars couldn’t hold on as the set wound down, allowing Portland five kills to end the set 25-18 and push the match to four sets.

Returning to the court with renewed energy, the Cougars took a 4-0 run to begin the fourth set led by Carpenter and Hamson. A service ace by Hamson put BYU ahead 10-4. The Cougars continued to plow through the set, increasing their lead to 18-8. Kimberli Boswell posted another Cougar victory on a kill for a 25-15 win of the fourth set.

The Cougars continue their tour of the Northwest with a matchup against Gonzaga Monday at 6 p.m. PDT in Spokane, Wash. The Bulldogs (7-11, 1-6) earned their first West Coast Conference win against Portland Thursday.

BYU vs. Portland Box