Cougars Fall to Nationally-Ranked San Diego

(Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – BYU women’s volleyball suffered a hard-fought loss to league-foe and No. 16 San Diego 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-17) Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse. With the defeat the Cougars are now 16-7 overall and 5-4 in West Coast Conference while the Toreros improve to 22-1 overall and 7-1 in league play.

“We didn’t play our game and we’ve got to figure out how to change that,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We haven’t done it for two matches now and that’s unfortunate because if we do it’s a whole different outcome. We just need to get back to where we were playing a week ago.”

Christie Carpenter led BYU with 14 kills and five blocks to tie her season high while Jennifer Hamson added 13 kills and five digs. Heather Hanneman posted a match-high 36 assists while Tia Withers and Kendalyn Hartsock had nine digs apiece.

San Diego was paced by a quartet of players with double-digit kills, including Sandra Lozic (17), Katie Hoekman (13), Carrie Baird (13) and Amber Tatsch (12). Setters Rachel Alvey and Jianna Bonomi each had 27 assists and Lozic had a match-high 16 digs.

The Cougars claimed the first set 25-23 behind a seven-kill effort from Carpenter. San Diego opened the set with a block but BYU responded with a 6-0 run. Carpenter got things started with a kill to end a long rally and she also teamed with Nicole Warner for a block during the run. Not to be outdone, the Toreros fought back, scoring five of the next six points to come within one at 7-6.

BYU did not trail in the first set but San Diego kept it close, tying the score four times at 13, 16, 17 and 19. The Cougars pulled away with a 5-1 run and after a scare from the Toreros — who cut the lead to one at 24-23 — Carpenter finished the set with an emphatic kill on the outside.

Set two was defined by runs as BYU opened with a 5-0 run before San Diego answered with a 6-1 run of its own to tie the score at 8-all. With BYU leading 8-7, the Toreros put together their most impressive stretch of the set, reeling off eight-straight points for a 15-8 lead. The Cougars took over momentarily with a 6-1 run to cut the deficit to 16-14 but San Diego caught fire again and took the set 25-20.

The third set started with a similar plot to set two as BYU started with a lead (6-4) and San Diego rallied to take a three-point lead at 15-12. The Cougars fought back to a 17-all tie but the Toreros outscored the Cougars 8-4 to claim the set 25-21.

BYU overcame early struggles in the fourth set with a 5-0 run that included a kill from Hamson, an ace by Hartsock and a block by Carpenter and Kimberli Boswell to lead 9-6. The Cougars last led at 11-10 on a Hamson kill as San Diego took control and went on to win 25-17.

After suffering back-to-back losses to ranked teams, BYU returns to the court on Thursday, Oct. 27, at San Francisco. The match will begin at 6 p.m. PT in War Memorial Gym and will be broadcast live online.

BYU vs. San Diego Box Score