Volleyball Drops Heartbreaker to Waves

Christie Carpenter recorded 14 kills and 15 digs against Pepperdine. (Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)

MALIBU, Calif.—A late rally wasn’t enough to boost the BYU women’s volleyball team ahead of No. 20 Pepperdine, who ended the match with a 3-1 (25-16, 25-17, 22-25, 27-25) victory against the Cougars Saturday.

A rough crowd greeted the Cougars (14-5, 3-2) in their quest to overthrow undefeated West Coast Conference leader Pepperdine (11-5, 5-0) on the Waves’ home court.

“It was a tough loss for sure,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I felt we battled our hearts out. We had chances to take the match to five sets, which is hard to swallow. You have to be able to manufacture point a point in those circumstances. They were just a little better than us today. We fought hard and now we just have to learn from this match.”

Christie Carpenter led BYU with 14 kills on .297 hitting. She also had 15 digs, tying her career high, for her second double-double of the season. Jennifer Hamson helped out on offense with 12 kills. Libero Kendalyn Hartsock had 21 digs and Nicole Warner recorded six blocks.

The Waves took an early 3-0 lead in the first set before a Hamson kill put BYU on the board. Back-to-back blocks by Warner tied the set 3-3. The score tied two more times before Pepperdine broke away for a three-point lead. A 4-0 run increased that lead to 17-10 before Kathryn LeCheminant and Hamson broke the streak with a block. Carpenter led a Cougar attack to cut the lead to 21-16, but Stevi Robinson’s two aces ended the first set 25-16 for the Waves.

Despite BYU taking the first two points of the set, a 5-0 run put the Waves ahead. The Cougars snuck back in to tie the set 6-6 and back-to-back kills by Vaughn stole the lead for BYU. Carpenter increased that lead to 10-8 on a kill. Pepperdine’s Victoria Adelhelm tied up the score 11-11 and Katie Messing advanced the Waves to a 12-11 lead on a kill. The 6-0 streak ended in a 15-11 lead for Pepperdine. BYU couldn’t get back in control in spite of a great comeback effort from Carpenter and Hamson. The Waves took the set 25-17.

Pepperdine took the early lead in the third, but BYU scrambled back for a 5-5 tie. Jessica Jardine and Hamson advanced the Cougars to a 9-6 lead. The Waves rallied in an attempt to cut down BYU’s lead, but the Cougars answered with a Carpenter kill to retain the 11-9 lead. The Waves ran back for a 14-14 tie and a kill took the lead back for Pepperdine.

BYU prevented a late run by the Waves to bring the set to 22-21 for Pepperdine and a Kim Hill attack error tied the set. A crucial block by Jardine and Warner put the Cougars ahead as the set wound down. Now at 23-22, Hamson threw down a kill followed by an ace from Carpenter to take the set 25-22 and avert a Pepperdine sweep.

Down 4-2 to start the fourth set, Carpenter led BYU back for a 7-7 tie before taking the lead on back-to-back kills. A 5-1 run fueled by three kills from LeCheminant put BYU ahead 16-12. The Cougars kept up the momentum, maintaining the lead until Samantha Cash’s block tied the set 24-24. Robinson’s service ace set up match point and the Waves took the set and the match on a block by Adelhelm, Kellie Woolever and Lilla Frederick.

The Cougars have a week to regroup before taking on Portland on the road Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. PDT.

BYU vs. Pepperdine Box