PROVO -- Coming off of their first win of the season, the No. 20 BYU Cougars chalked up their second win Saturday in four sets (21-25, 26-24, 27-25, 25-21) against the Tulane Green Wave, bringing them to 2-0 on the season.
“I like the maturity we showed in tight sets,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “It’s good to defend the Smith Fieldhouse. We learned things and got progressively smarter as the match went on.”
Playing smart for the Cougars was sophomore setter Kiana Rogers, who notched her sixth career double-double, and junior Ashton Hansen Hosford, who tied her career high of 13 blocks. Senior Bryn Porter also had a career high of six blocks, while the team notched 15.5 team blocks.
Pepperdine transfer Kayla Walker posted a .409 hitting percentage with 11 kills as Porter led the team in kills with 15 on a hitting percentage of .154. On the defensive side, Rogers led in digs with 14 while junior Morgan Lloyd added 11.
Tulane was led by senior Croatian native Sara Radosevic, who had 17 kills and a hitting percentage of .333; junior Rachel Lindelow led the defense with 11 digs.
After battling for the lead the entire first set, the Green Wave came out on top (25-21), led by Radosevic with six kills. Despite their loss, the Cougars had an impressive 4.5 team blocks while the Green Wave had none.
The second set proved to be Tulane’s as they held the lead until 15-15 when the Cougars came back to win it, 26-24. On the set, Lloyd posted four digs while Hosford, Walker and Porter had three kills apiece.
In the third set the Cougars picked up momentum as they led until 23-23 when the Green Wave battled back; but the Cougars held them off with stellar performances by Porter and freshman Malia Marquardt with four kills each.
Set four was an evenly matched fight where BYU came out on top (25-21), sealing the win. Porter led in kills with five for the set, while Hosford led in blocks with four.
The Cougars will see action again Saturday night as they take on Missouri at 7:30 p.m. (MST) in the final match of the BYU Molten Classic.
Missouri Edges Out Utah State
The BYU Molten Classic continued Saturday as Missouri edged out Utah State in four sets to earn its second victory of the tournament. Julianna Klein led the Tigers’ offense with 23 kills while Utah State’s Melissa Osterloh recorded 16 kills for the Aggies. Missouri’s defense was strong with Amanda Hantouli notching nine blocks and Caitlyn Vann getting 29 digs.
Missouri had a slow start in set one, allowing the Aggies to go on a 6-3 run to begin the match. The set went back-and-forth, but Utah State never gave up its lead. The Tigers came within two at 9-7, but the Aggies increased their advantage and finally took the set 25-20.
The break seemed to give the Tigers the spark they were looking for, and they came out strong with a 9-1 run in the second set. But the Aggies kept the pressure on and came within one midway through the set. Despite Utah State’s efforts, the Missouri defense answered back with four blocks in a row to increase its lead to five and hold the Aggies to a .023 hitting percentage before going on to win the set 25-19.
Set three was evenly matched through the first half with the Tigers maintaining a slight advantage. Missouri pulled away to a 22-16 lead, but the Aggies closed the gap to three before eventually falling to the Tigers 25-20.
Both teams made a hard push in the fourth game, improving their hitting percentage significantly from the second and third. Missouri scored first, but the Aggies never gave up, and the score was within one for the better part of the set. The teams were tied at 24 before the Tigers scored the two points necessary to clinch the set and the win.