WICHITA, Kan.—In its first match against a top-25 team this season, the BYU women’s volleyball team soundly defeated No. 24 Colorado State 3-1 (21-25, 25-12, 25-21, 25-16) Saturday in its second match of the Shocker Volleyball Classic.
“I thought our girls responded really well for playing a five-set match last night,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “That can sometimes be really taxing, but they responded well with great intensity to win against a great opponent. I thought we played really well defensively. We made plays when we need them and Jen Hamson came up for a lot of crucial plays.”
Jennifer Hamson once again led the Cougars with 20 kills on .459 hitting and had six blocks. Middle blocker Nicole Warner had 12 kills, a season high, on a career-high .857 hitting. She also led the team in blocks with seven. Heather Hannemann had 46 assists and Ciara Parker totaled 19 digs in the match.
Hamson pushed the Cougars (5-0) out in front to start the set, blocking Dana Cranston with Kathryn LeCheminant to go up 6-3. Back-to-back kills from Hamson gave BYU its largest lead of the set, 13-8, before Cougar errors put the Rams back in the game, tying the set 16-16. With an ace and two kills, CSU (3-3) bounced ahead 21-19 for its first lead of the set. Three Cougar attack errors helped the Rams put away the set 25-21.
BYU came out on fire in the second set, snatching the first six points before CSU could react. A 9-0 run, including two kills each from Jessica Jardine and LeCheminant, gave BYU an 18-3 lead as the Rams scrambled to regroup. With CSU unable to recover, BYU easily took the set 25-12.
Freshman Alexa Gray kept the Cougars ahead for the first part of the third set before Cranston tied the score 10-10 on a kill and then took an 11-10 lead on another kill. That kicked BYU into action and the Cougars responded with kills from Hamson and Jardine to retake the lead 13-11. Another Hamson kill took BYU to a 20-15 lead, which the Cougars held through the end of the set. With a 25-21 victory in the third, BYU took the overall lead 2-1.
With the loss of two straight sets hanging over their heads, the Rams were never able to regain confidence, allowing BYU a 5-1 lead to open the final set. Four attack errors in a row didn’t help CSU’s cause. Hamson led the Cougars on a 5-0 attack to increase that lead to 13-6. The Rams couldn’t break the lead BYU carried through the rest of the set. Jardine administered the final blow to defeat CSU 25-16.
The last time BYU defeated a ranked opponent was in 2008, when the team defeated No. 15 CSU.
Coming up on the schedule, a match against No. 14 Tennessee to finish the Shocker Volleyball Classic. The match begins at 7 p.m. CDT.