Stephanie Snow recorded a career-high 14 kills Friday.
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PROVO -- In a preview of future West Coast Conference matchups, the BYU women’s volleyball team (3-4) defeated Loyola Marymount (4-3) in a five-set thriller Friday to open play at the BYU Molten Classic.
"We started off slow but we finished strong," said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. "We are going to try to carry our success from tonight into tomorrow and win both games."
The Lions, who went 3-11 in WCC play in 2009, jumped out to an early 20-11 lead in game one and never looked back, winning 25-17 behind senior Felicia Arriola, who tallied six kills and four digs.
In her first start as a Cougar, freshman rightside hitter Jennifer Hamson, led the BYU comeback in game two as the Cougars tied the score at 23 apiece before taking the game 28-26. Hamson recorded five kills and five digs in the set and finished the night with 14 kills and 16 digs, with two service aces and three digs in the first double-double performance of her career.
“I was thrilled with her overall performance," said Goulding. "She not only played the net well, but also covered the floor."
A back-and-forth third game went down to the wire, with the Lions getting the 25-22 win on the heels of five kills and three digs by junior outside hitter Jasmine Rankins.
However, the Cougars again rallied back as they jumped out to a 6-2 lead in game four and held on with two service aces for the win to tie the match, forcing a fifth game.
It was all BYU in game five as Hamson, Snow and Carpenter each recorded two kills and the Cougars finished the match with 15 team blocks.
Sophomores Kendalyn Hartsock and Nicole Warner both recorded career highs on the night. Warner, a middle blocker, posted 11 blocks while Hartsock, a libero, tallied 18 digs to lead all Cougars.
Adding to Hamson’s attack, two other Cougars recorded double-digit kills on the night. Senior Stephanie Snow and junior Christie Carpenter each recorded 14 kills in the win.
The Cougars return to Elaine Michaelis Court Saturday at 10 a.m. when they face off against Conference USA power Houston and again at 7:30 p.m. against Wichita State in the final match of the Molten Classic.
Wichita State vs. Houston Cougars
PROVO -- The Wichita State Shockers defeated the Houston Cougars 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-22) to open the Molten Classic Friday evening.
Leading the Shockers on the night was junior Camri Zwiesler with 18 kills on a .486 hitting percentage, adding seven digs. Also chipping in was sophomore Emily Adney with eight kills and two digs. As a team the Shockers finished the match with a .356 hitting percentage and 45 kills. Junior Mary Elizabeth Hooper had a match-high 39 assists for the Shockers.
Houston got a strong performance from junior Ingrida Zauere with 11 kills on a .320 clip with five digs. Defensive specialist Amanda Carson helped out the Cougars with a match-high 17 digs on the night.
The Shockers and Cougars were back and forth for the first few points of the set until the Shockers started to build on a five-kill performance by Zwiesler, pulling away for the 25-14 win. Junior Sarah Waldorf and sophomore Jackie Church helped out on defense with six and five digs, respectively.
Houston kept set two close before falling to Wichita State 25-20. It was Zwiesler again leading the charge for the Shockers, tallying up six kills on a .545 hitting percentage. Zauere helped the Cougars stay in the set with six kills and one dig of her own.
During set three the Cougars got on a 3-0 run to bring it to 24-22 and force the Shockers to regroup during a timeout. Wichita State quickly ended all hopes of a comeback on a quick kill from red shirt freshman Elizabeth Field, her second of the set to end the match, giving her team the 25-22 victory.