PROVO -- The BYU women's volleyball team (2-3) fell 3-2 to the Cal Poly Mustangs (3-3) in a hard-fought battle (25-21, 20-25, 25-16, 12-25, 9-14) to end the BYU Nike Invitational Saturday night in the Smith Fieldhouse.
“I talked a lot to the girls about breaking our season into chapters,” BYU coach Shay Goulding said. “And this is just one chapter. It’s the intro or the prologue to our book. The thick of the chapters are when we get into our conference, and that’s when it really matters. I purposefully put us up against some tough teams, I think we matched up really well against Cal Poly, in my mind there’s no reason why we would have lost the game.”
Despite the loss, four of the Cougars had career nights, starting with Christie Carpenter’s 14 digs. Saturday night’s game was Carpenter’s third double-double of the season, as she also made 14 kills. Stephanie Snow had two career highs, reaching 13 kills and hitting at .619 and Kathryn LeCheminant had 10 kills, hitting at .450 and tying her career high of six blocks. True freshman Jessica Jardine reached a career high of six kills and three digs.
“I saw a glimpse of greatness this weekend, and that’s what I’m going to hold on to and that’s what we’re going to push forward with,” Goulding said.
The Cougars lost ground at the beginning of the first set, but came back to tie the game 16-16. From there, LeCheminant took the lead for BYU, continuing a five-point scoring streak. Nicole Warner took the set with a kill to the back corner. Carpenter led the set with five kills and four digs, hitting at .625.
The Mustangs took the first five points of the second set. The Cougars fought back, LeCheminant’s kill reaching a tie at nine. Seven ties followed as the score inched forward until a Mustang error gave BYU a two-point lead. Cal Poly came back to take the lead by one point, starting a back-and-forth battle for the lead until the Mustangs broke away to win the set 25-20.
Neck-and-neck for the first 11 points of the third set, the Mustangs slowly pulled ahead to lead the set 7-5. The Cougars came back to tie the set 9-9. The teams engaged in a long rally that ended in a Cal Poly error and BYU lead.
Surging forward, the Cougars placed six more unanswered points on the board. The Cougars continued their advance to put 11 points between their score and the Mustangs’. Carpenter kept the kills coming, with five total for the set and three digs. Kills from Carpenter and Snow kept Cal Poly’s comeback attempts at bay, and a kill from Snow ended the set with a nine-point BYU lead. Snow ended the set with five kills, hitting at .833.
As the fourth set opened, the Cougars lost the momentum that carried them to victory in the third set. The Mustangs took the lead early on, taking six consecutive points and securing a 25-12 win.
By the middle of the set, Cal Poly was up by five and continued to gain on the Cougars. The Mustangs finished the set and the match with a kill from Callie Smith for the victory.
Following the match, Carpenter was named to the all-tournament team and No. 7 Nebraska was named tournament champion.
The Cougars will face Loyola Marymount Friday in next weekend’s BYU Invitational. The game begins at 7 p.m. at the Smith Fieldhouse following a matchup between Witchita State and Houston at 4:30 p.m.
Nebraska Ends Tournament Undefeated
PROVO -- No. 7 Nebraska swept its last match in the BYU Nike Invitational, putting away Idaho State (25-16, 25-17, 25-12) to go undefeated and win the Nike Invitational.
Husker Jordan Wilberger led the match with 11 kills, .625 hitting, followed by teammate Gina Mancuso with 10, .368 hitting, and Delano Brooke with 9, .533 hitting. Haylee Thompson-Brock led the Bengals with 9 kills. On the back row, Nebraska’s Kayla Banworth had 15 digs and Hannah Werth had 10.
Sarah Carson from Idaho State started the first set with a kill from Lori Mendenhall, getting Idaho off to a quick 4-1 lead. The Huskers struck back to tie the set 5-5 and take the lead on the next point.
Nebraska then received six consecutive points. Bengals answered with five of their own before their streak was stopped by a hit out of bounds. The Bengals held on through the first set until the last eight points of the set, when the Huskers went on a 7-1 run to take the set, 25-16.
Nebraska shook off Idaho State early in the second set despite Thompson-Brock’s hard kill for 2-1 lead. With a kill from Werth, the Huskers took a 10-point lead to bring the score to 16-6 and maintained at least a seven-point lead the rest of the set. Morgan Broekhuis led the Huskers in the second set with 4 kills and hitting at .571.
Nebraska ended the last set quickly, with Wilberger, hitting at 1.000, leading the Huskers to a 25-12 final score.
BYU Nike Invitational
BYU – Cal Poly – Idaho State – Nebraska
Sydney Anderson Nebraska
Jennifer Keddy Cal Poly
Sarah Carson Idaho State
Hannah Werth Nebraska
Christie Carpenter BYU
Kristina Graven Cal Poly
Tournament MVP: Kayla Banwarth, Libero, Nebraska