Balanced Effort Leads to BYU Win
COLLEGE STATION -- The No. 16 BYU women’s volleyball team fended off a feisty Siena team Friday night at the Texas A&M Invitational to record a four-set victory (25-13, 24-26, 25-9, 25-20). The win improves the Cougars to 4-0 on the year.
“We’re very happy to come out of that match with a win,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “Siena brought everything they had, but our maturity really pulled us through.”
Four Cougars recorded double-digit kills in another balanced offensive outing. Senior Bryn Porter and true freshman Malia Marquardt led the way with 15 kills apiece while senior Rachel Dyer and junior Kayla Walker each tallied 10. Porter also notched her second double-double of the year with 11 kills along with sophomore setter Kiana Rogers, who had 45 assists and 12 digs. Junior Morgan Lloyd led the way with 16 digs while Dyer tied her career high with seven. The Cougars posted 12 team blocks in the match led by six each from Ashton Hansen Hosford and Marquardt, tying her personal best. Dyer’s all-around effort garnered her five blocks on the night along with a match-high .409 hitting percentage.
“I’m really pleased with our offensive balance, especially in these shorter sets,” said Goulding. “We’re scoring in all of our rotations, which is a good sign for us going forward.”
Set one began with an early 3-1 Siena lead, but BYU quickly took control with a 5-1 run featuring two kills and a service ace from Walker. The momentum shift was all the Cougars needed to get going as they cruised from there, scoring eight of 10 points during one span and six of the last seven points of the set take a 25-13 win. Porter led the way with four kills while the BYU defense tallied 3.5 team blocks and held the Saints to a .000 hitting percentage with five kills and five errors.
Marquardt got the second set started off for the Cougars with two kills and an ace for a 3-1 lead, but Siena recovered its composure and began challenging BYU for the lead. After the Saints climbed back to tie things up at 10-10, the two teams traded points until a 5-1 Cougar spurt put BYU up 17-13. Siena stormed back to once again knot the score at 18-18, but a service error denied the Saints the opportunity to take the lead and a 4-1 run the other way had BYU three points from victory at 22-19. But the Saints weren’t out yet as they scored seven of the next nine points to take a surprising 26-24 win.
After getting a little bit of a wake-up call in the second set, BYU came out hot in set three, scoring the first four points and never looking back to a dominating 25-9 win. The victory featured a 17-4 scoring stretch for the Cougars after an early 8-5 lead. The BYU block was especially effective, holding Siena to a -.276 hitting percentage while posting 6.5 rejections in the set.
The dominating set-three win had BYU back on track and ready to cruise in set four, but it was Siena who came out strong. With their backs against the wall, the Saints jumped out to a 7-4 advantage. But the maturity and experience of the Cougars proved too much to handle as a 12-2 scoring run put them firmly in control at 16-9. Trailing 19-13, Siena made things interesting with a 6-1 run to get back within one point, but BYU put the match away in the final stage, scoring five of the last six points capped by a kill from Marquardt to seal the win.
The Cougars now face a quick turnaround before returning to action Saturday morning with a 9:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m. MT) match against American. BYU will close out the Texas A&M Invitational Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. MT) against the host Aggies.
Fans can join the official BYU Women’s Volleyball Texting Group by texting “WVB” to 83043. Members of the group will get updates about game times and special promotions.