No. 11 volleyball heads to California

(Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah—Hitting the road for the first time in conference play, the No. 11 BYU women’s volleyball team faces San Francisco Thursday and Saint Mary’s Saturday.

The San Francisco match begins at 6:30 p.m. PDT and the Saint Mary’s match starts at 1 p.m. PDT.

Now 14-0 on the season and 2-0 in West Coast Conference play, the Cougars are having their best start since 2005, when the team went 20-0 before a loss. The BYU all-time record is 23-0 before a loss.

The Cougars have the best record in NCAA Division I volleyball. Only two other schools, Washington and Oregon, are undefeated. Both have an 11-0 record.

Four Cougars have landed in the top 20 of four individual categories in NCAA Division I volleyball. Setter Heather Hannemann is No. 7 for assists per set, with an 11.91 average. In blocking, Nicole Warner holds on to her No. 11 ranking, dishing out 1.48 blocks per set. Middle blocker Kathryn LeCheminant jumped to No. 8 for hitting percentage, hitting .433 (93-16-174). Jennifer Hamson contributes 5.04 points per set, good for No. 17 in the rankings.

As a team, BYU ranks No. 2 in Division I volleyball for hitting percentage (.336) and No. 5 for kills per set (14.85  average). The team is also No. 13 for assists per set (13.54 average) and is tied for No. 1 for win-loss percentage.

Hamson leads the BYU offense with 4.15 kills per set (191 total), supported by freshman outside hitter Alexa Gray with 3.43 per set (153 total). Setter Hannemann directs the floor with her 548 total assists and freshman libero Ciara Parker takes 5.0 digs per set (230 total). Warner and LeCheminant team up at the net with 1.48 and 1 .04 blocks per set, respectively. Hamson also helps out with her own 1.04 blocks per set.

Thursday, the Cougars took down No. 14 Pepperdine 3-0 in their first WCC match of the season. The team followed the victory with a 3-0 win against Gonzaga, BYU’s eighth-straight sweep and 11th sweep of the season. BYU hasn’t lost a set since Sept. 1 in the match vs. No. 14 Tennessee.

The Gonzaga match included BYU’s best set of the season, in which the team held Gonzaga to only seven points.

The Cougars are 3-0 in road games this season.

San Francisco

The Dons are 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the WCC after losing to San Diego and defeating Loyola Marymount in the first week of league play.

Jocelyn Levig leads San Francisco with 3.83 kills per set, helped out by setter Leanna Ludes’ 10.24 assists. Malina Terrell leads the team in blocking with .79 per set and Rebecca Kopilovitch leads in digs with 4.52.

BYU leads the series with San Francisco 4-0 after sweeping the 2011 series with two wins in conference play.

The Dons are undefeated at home this season with four wins.

Saint Mary’s

The Gaels proved a challenge in BYU first season in the WCC. The two teams finished tied for third place with 10-6 conference records. Saint Mary’s won the 2011 series, defeating the Cougars in the BYU Invitational and splitting the league-play matches.

Saint Mary’s leads the overall series 3-5 after last season’s wins against the Cougars.

Kristina Graven contributes 3.24 kills per set to lead the Gaels, also adding 2.98 digs. Dalas Dodd leads in assists with 12.0 per set and Gabby Jolly leads in blocks with 1.21 per set.

Saint Mary’s is 5-7 in 2012 and 0-1 in conference play after losing 3-0 to Loyola Marymount

The Gaels haven’t won at home yet. The team is 0-2 in home matches.

How to watch

Catch live video streaming, audio streaming and live stats for the match vs. San Francisco on the Dons’ Game Central page. All streaming is free. 

A link to live video streaming for the Saint Mary’s match is available on the Gaels’ schedule page with a monthly subscription to Saint Mary’s video content. The fee is $7.95. Live stats are available for free on the schedule page.

BYU vs. San Francisco Match Notes

BYU vs. Saint Mary's Match Notes