(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU)
PROVO, Utah—After back-to-back road wins, the BYU women’s volleyball team gears up for a tough pair of matches at home against West Coast Conference leaders No. 16 San Diego and No. 17 Pepperdine.
“It’s always exciting to be back playing at the Smith Fieldhouse in front of our fans,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We had a strong weekend and we’re excited to host two top-20 teams this week. It will be exciting for the local community and we hope as many fans as possible can come out to enjoy good volleyball and support the Cougars.”
BYU (15-5, 4-2) welcomes the WCC’s No. 1 Pepperdine (13-5, 7-0) to the Smith Fieldhouse Thursday at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the Cougars will face off with San Diego (20-1, 6-1), No. 2 in the WCC, also at 7 p.m., for their Dig Pink Match in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
BYU suffered road losses to both the Waves and the Toreros in the last meeting with each school, falling 3-1 to Pepperdine and 3-0 to San Diego in the first round of WCC play. But with wins against Portland and Gonzaga under their belts, the Cougars hope to continue last week’s momentum through the weekend.
Senior outside hitter Christie Carpenter’s season-high 20 kills pushed the Cougars past the Pilots and 17 more kills aided in the win against the Bulldogs. Carpenter and opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson both recorded double-doubles in the Portland match, Carpenter with 11 digs to add to her kills and Hamson with 16 kills and 10 digs. Hamson leads the league with 4.10 kills per set.
On defense, Nicole Warner still leads the WCC in blocks with 1.56 per set and Kendalyn Hartsock is second in digs with 4.41 per set.
At 16 wins on the season, BYU has already recorded more wins than the team did the entire 2010 season. The Cougars are tied for third in conference, exceeding a sixth-place ranking in the preseason poll.
Pepperdine has established itself as the team to beat this season after an undefeated first round of conference play. The Waves will finally face San Diego Oct. 24 at home in a battle for the top of the conference.
Two-time WCC Player of the Week Kim Hill continues to be a key to Pepperdine’s offense, with 3.61 kills per set for second-place in the league. Other Waves to watch are Kellie Woolever, first in conference for assists with an average of 10.82, and Samantha Cash, second in the WCC for blocks with a 1.23 average.
The Waves haven’t lost since Sept. 17, when they fell 3-1 in a doubleheader against Hawai’i.
Katie Hoekman and Chloe Ferrari lead the Toreros and the conference in hitting percentage with .412 and .390, respectively. Amber Tatsch has 31 service aces on the season for .43 per set.
San Diego’s only loss of the season came against San Francisco, who is tied with BYU for third in the WCC.
The match against Pepperdine will be broadcast on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio and the match against San Diego will be broadcast on BYU Radio. Live stats are also available. For links to video streaming, audio streaming and live stats, click HERE.
Admission to the San Diego match is free for those who wear pink. The first 120 fans at Saturday’s match will also receive a free brownie.
BYU vs. Pepperdine Notes
BYU vs. San Diego Notes