SEATTLE – Jennifer Hamson led No. 12 BYU women's volleyball to a four-set (25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 26-24) victory Friday night at Alaska Airlines Arena to advance to the regional finals of the NCAA tournament.
"What an outstanding match," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "Hats off to Florida State for an outstanding season. I can't say enough about their fight through sets three and four. It was kind of similar to last week. I just remembered that some of these kids didn't want their season to be over last week and it was the same story today."
Hamson led the Cougars with a career-high 30 kills on a .397 clip to go along with 10 digs and six blocks. Alohi Robins-Hardy contributed team-highs in digs (15) and assists (37). Amy Boswell and Whitney Young, the top blockers in the nation, led BYU with seven blocks apiece. Alexa Gray additionally contributed double-digit kills for the Cougars with 12.
BYU (28-4) got the first point of set one with a Florida State (30-3) hitting error. The teams traded points from there until a 6-1 run put the Seminoles up 6-2, forcing an Olmstead timeout. Following the break the Cougars rallied to score a trio of points, including a pair of Boswell blocks, to bring BYU within one at 6-5. The teams traded points from there with a Gray kill tying the match again at 10 apiece. The Cougars later used a 10-2 run, capped off by a Tambre Nobles kill, to go up 22-14 in the set. Young finished off the set with a kill to give her team the 25-20 win.
BYU took an early 3-1 advantage in the second set with a Hamson kill. Florida State rallied, however, to take an 8-7 lead after a Cougar attack error. The scores went back-and-forth until BYU was able to go up by two at 14-12 after another Hamson kill. A Nobles service ace put the Cougars up by five at 18-13, but the Seminoles rallied to come back within two at 18-16 after a Katie Horton kill. BYU countered with a 5-2 run to go back up 23-18, forcing a Florida State timeout. A Nobles kill ended the set at 25-19 to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead at the break.
The Seminoles started the third set with a service error, putting BYU up 1-0 early on. The Cougars stayed ahead 5-2 but Florida State rallied to tie the set 11-all following a Seminole kill. A 3-1 BYU run put the Cougars back up at 14-12, but Florida State stayed in the set, trailing 15-14 at the media timeout. The Seminoles scored three-straight after the break, capped off by a service ace, to go up for the first time in the set 17-15, forcing a BYU timeout. Amidst a 7-2 Florida State run, the Seminoles were able to take a four-point advantage at 21-17. A Young kill forced a second set point, but it proved to be too little too late as Florida State forced a fourth set, winning the third 25-19.
The Seminoles took a 6-2 lead to start the fourth set, taking advantage of some early Cougar miscues. With Florida State up 11-5 BYU went on a 4-0 run, capped off by a Robins-Hardy ace, to bring the Cougars back within two at 11-9. The Seminoles then countered with a 5-2 rally to go back up five at 16-11, forcing BYU to take a timeout. A Hamson kill and block and blocks from Cosy Burnett and Boswell brought the Cougars back within a pair at 16-14. With BYU back down four at 20-16, three-straight points brought the Cougars back within a point at 20-19. Florida State had a 23-20 lead, but BYU went on a 6-1 run to close out the set and match 26-24 with a Hamson kill.
The Cougars return to the University of Washington Saturday at 8:30 p.m. PST when they face off against the winner of No. 3 Washington and No. 14 Nebraska. Links to live stats and a video feed can be found on the BYU women's volleyball schedule page.
Volleyball travels to Washington for regional semifinals
PROVO, Utah – No. 12 BYU women’s volleyball travels to Washington this week to play in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
The Cougars will first face off against No. 6-seed Florida State. Should BYU win, the Cougars would advance to face the winner of No. 3-seed Washington and No. 14-seed Nebraska.
Last week, BYU swept Seton Hall before winning a four-set thriller on No. 11-seed Arizona’s home court in the first two rounds of the tournament.
No. 6 Florida State
- The Cougars face Florida State Friday at 4 p.m. PST at the University of Washington.
- BYU leads the overall series 4-1 with the Seminoles winning the last matchup in five sets on Nov. 10, 1989.
- Florida State is led by 3.93 kills per set from Nicole Walch, 6.48 assists per set from Sarah Wickstrom, Katie Mosher’s 4.17 digs per set and Sarah Burrington’s 1.45 block average.
- The match will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
No. 3 Washington
- Should BYU win on Friday, it will face the winner of Washington and Nebraska Saturday at 8 p.m. PST.
- The Cougars are 12-1 all-time against the Huskies.
- Washington won a five-set thriller at BYU earlier this season at the BYU Invitational – its only win in the series.
- The Huskies are led by Krista Vansant’s 4.70 kills per set, 6.35 assists per set from Katy Beals, a 3.95 dig average from Cassie Strickland and Lianna Sybeldon’s 1.57 blocks per set.
No. 14 Nebraska
- Nebraska and BYU have faced each other 10 previous times. The Huskers lead the overall series 8-2.
- Nebraska won the last matchup on Sept. 3, 2010 in four sets.
- The Huskers are led by 3.56 kills per set from Kadie Rolfzen, Mary Pollmiller’s 10.10 assist average, Justine Wong-Orantes’ 3.77 digs per set and 1.32 blocks per set from Cecilia Hall.
Friday’s match against Florida State will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Saturday’s matchup against Washington/Nebraska would be broadcast on ESPNU. Links to live stats and a video feed can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.
Fans can purchase tickets on the Washington website. All tickets are general admission. Adult tickets cost $20 and youth/senior tickets are $12.