Cougars Battle for Third Place in WCC

A major player in Cougar defense, libero Kendalyn Hartsock has 346 digs on the season. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah—With only four weeks of the regular season left, the BYU women’s volleyball team sets out on another California road trip this week, looking to bounce back from its first set of back-to-back losses of the season with matches against San Francisco and Santa Clara.

The match against San Francisco will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. PDT at the War Memorial Gym while the Santa Clara match is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT at the Leavey Event Center.

Traveling to San Francisco and Santa Clara is a great opportunity for us as a team to put ourselves against some formidable opponents,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We have things we are excited to work on before we head out on the trip Wednesday.”

The Cougars (16-7, 5-4) return to action after going 3-1 against both No. 18 Pepperdine and No. 17 San Diego in Provo last week, arguably the hardest week of competition for the Cougars this season.

With the exception of San Francisco, BYU has already defeated every team left to play on its schedule.

The Dons, tied with the Cougars for third place in the league, are on a three-match losing streak after falling to Pepperdine Oct. 15 and Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara last week. The winner of Thursday’s match will take sole ownership of the third-place position. Santa Clara is currently in fifth place in the league after defeating Loyola Marymount and San Francisco last week.

Opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson reached 300 kills in an Oct. 17 victory against Gonzaga. The sophomore now has 329 for a 4.06 average to lead the team and the conference. Hamson also contributes 2.47 digs per set, reaching 200 digs against San Diego, and averages 1.01 blocks.

Backing up Hamson is outside hitter Christie Carpenter with 2.87 kills per set and 2.37 digs per set and setter Heather Hannemann with 10.31 assists per set.

Kendalyn Hartsock and Nicole Warner round out the Cougar defense with libero Hartsock dishing out 4.27 digs per set and middle blocker Warner putting up 1.51 blocks per set. Warner also averages 1.89 kills. Helping out on defense is sophomore middle Kathryn LeCheminant with a 1.10 dig average.

The Dons are led by Vendula Strakova, who has 228 kills at 3.45 per set, and Rebecca Kopilovitch with 4.23 digs per set. Joan Caloiaro contributes 10.25 assists per set and Valentina Zaloznik averages 1.06 blocks.

For the Broncos, Katherine Douglas throws down 3.14 kills per set with the help of Alyssa Anderson’s 6.18 assists per set. On defense, Tanya Schmidt has .66 blocks per set and Bridget O’Hara has 3.86 digs.

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BYU vs. San Francisco Notes