Seniors Rachel Dyer and Bryn Porter were both named to the InnTowner Invitational All-Tournament Team. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
MADISON -- The No. 23 BYU women’s volleyball team gave 14th-ranked Wisconsin all the Badgers could handle Saturday night before falling in five sets (25-27, 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 10-15) at the InnTowner Invitational. Seniors Bryn Porter and Rachel Dyer were named to the All-Tournament Team.
“I think both teams played a great match,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “It just didn’t go our way in the end. I’m proud of the way we fought against a very good Wisconsin team on their home floor. I think this experience will help us a lot as we start league play next week.”
Junior Kayla Walker posted a team-high 13 kills to go along with 10 digs to tally her first double-double of the season. Porter (11) and Dyer (10) also recorded double-digit kills. Sophomore setter Kiana Rogers notched her sixth double-double with 39 assists and 14 digs while fellow sophomore Melissa Lake paced BYU with 18 digs. Junior Ashton Hansen Hosford totaled a match-high nine blocks on the night to help the Cougars record an impressive 16.5 team blocks.
Set one was tight from the start as the Badgers became the first team to lead by two points at 13-11. The Cougars returned the favor at 18-16 with three straight points, but the two squads continued to fight for every point. Finally, with the score tied at 22-22, the Badgers gained the advantage they were looking for with back-to-back scores to earn set point at 24-22. But consecutive Cougar blocks sent the set into extra play. However, it didn’t take long for the home team to regain the momentum as Wisconsin scored the final three points to take the set, 27-25.
BYU jumped out to the early advantage in set two with a 4-1 lead. However, a 5-1 Badger run quickly turned the tables to a 9-7 Wisconsin lead. The Cougars responded with seven straight scores including three kills and a block from Dyer to go up 17-11 and take control of the set. Wisconsin made it all the way back to within one point but would come no closer as the Cougars closed out the set on a 5-0 run for the 25-20 win.
The Cougars started slow in the third set, trailing 6-2 early, but quickly found their rhythm with seven straight points to take a 9-6 lead. The Badgers once again proved resilient, coming within one point at 18-17, but could not overtake BYU as the Cougars took a 2-1 set lead with a 25-21 win.
Sensing victory, BYU came out on fire on set four, running up a 10-3 lead. However, with the match on the line and the home crowd behind them, the Badgers went on a 11-2 run to pull ahead at 14-12. The two teams battled from there with the set still hanging in the balance at 20-20. But it was Wisconsin who came through in the clutch, scoring five of the last seven points to even the match with a 25-22 win.
In a fifth set showdown, the two teams traded points for an early 3-3 tie. However, from there it was all Wisconsin as the Badgers pulled ahead and never looked back for the 15-10 win, scoring the come-from-behind match victory.
Day two of the InnTowner Invitational began BYU’s way as the Cougar volleyball team swept Central Michigan (25-22, 25-20, 25-21).
“I’m very excited about how we played in this match,” said Goulding. “We were collected and played intelligently and confidently throughout. It was nice to see us come together and make it work.”
Senior co-captain Bryn Porter paced the Cougars in kills for the sixth time this season as she posted 11 winners against the Chippewas. Sophomore Christina Measom came off the bench to post a .700 hitting percentage with eight kills, helping the Cougars hit .304 in the match. Junior Morgan Lloyd recorded a team-high seven digs in the short match.
The Chippewas led early in set one after getting out to a 4-1 advantage. The Cougars slowly chipped away until tying the score at 8-8, but quickly found themselves trailing 15-11. From there, BYU put together a 7-1 run thanks in part to four CMU hitting errors to gain an 18-16 lead. The Chippewas responded with a 5-1 spurt of their own to knot the score at 21-21, but the Cougars finished strong with two kills from sophomore Christina Measom to close out the set, 25-22. Porter led BYU with six kills in the frame while the Cougar defense held CMU to just .033 hitting.
Set two played out in almost identical fashion as the Cougars trailed early by as many as four points but fought back to tie the set at 17-17 during a 6-0 run that eventually extended to a 21-17 lead. However, this time it was the BYU offense leading the charge as the Cougars hit an incredible .577 in the game with 16 kills and just one hitting error. BYU scored 10 of the last 13 points to record the 25-20 win as every Cougar with a kill finished the set hitting at least .500.
With the match on the line, set three was a battle from the start until the Cougars were able to create some separation to lead 11-7. The Chippewas stayed close and continued to pressure the Cougars until finally knotting the score at 21-21 after three straight points. However, CMU would get no closer as BYU sprinted to the finish with four consecutive scores to take the set, 25-21.
The Cougars will now prepare to begin Mountain West Conference action this week. BYU will play at Wyoming on Thursday before facing No. 21 Colorado State on Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo. Both matches will be broadcast on BYU Radio.
Fans can join the official BYU Women’s Volleyball Texting Group by texting “WVB” to 83043. Members of the group will get updates about game times and special promotions.