Senior Kim Wilson returned to action in the Smith Fieldhouse for the first time since 2004 at BYU's spring tournament Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The Cougars finished the spring season in style Saturday as they hosted their final tournament and finished in third place.
"This has been a great spring for us," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "We pushed out athletes hard and made some significant progress with our systems and our team unity. We feel very good about what we accomplished this spring."
The Cougars went 7-3 on Saturday with two-match sweeps of Snow College, Utah State and Washington State. BYU split with Utah and lost two games to Colorado State. The Rams and Utes tied for first place with 8-2 records.
Several Cougars saw competitive action on Elaine Michaelis Court for the first time in the spring tournament, including redshirt freshmen Ashton Hansen, Marisa Vandersteen and Stephanie Lau. Senior Kim Wilson also returned after being forced to redshirt last season while recovering from shoulder surgery.
"It was the best feeling ever to be out here playing again," said Wilson. "I love my team and I love playing. I'm excited to be back."
BYU played in four tournaments this spring, improving with each one. The Cougars' match against Utah proved to be one of the most exciting of the day. In game one, the Utes took an early 13-10 lead only to see the Cougars storm back with a 10-3 run and take a 20-16 lead. Utah made things interesting with two straight points to get within two, but BYU's block proved dominant as four of its last nine points came by way of rejection in leading to a 30-24 win.
Game two was a see-saw battle as the two teams fought for every point. A 12-12 tie was broken by a 7-1 Utah run. The 19-13 Ute lead seemed to be insurmountable as the game continued until a 5-0 run, including two kills each from Wilson and Rachel Dyer, tied the game again at 25-25. Utah quickly scored the next two points and looked to be headed to the win, but two more Cougar blocks combined with traded kills brought the two teams to another tie at 28-28. However, the momentum was not enough to carry BYU as Utah recorded kills on the next two balls to take the 30-28 win.
BYU will begin regular season play on Aug. 25 against Florida International in Orlando, Fla. The Cougars' first home match will be Sept. 1 when they host the Molten Classic Tournament.