BYU volleyball: No. 15 Cougars take down Colonials to win invitational

By Rachel Hawks

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Sept. 15 2012 7:42 p.m. MDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The No. 15 BYU women’s volleyball team made a complete sweep of the George Washington Invitational after downing host George Washington 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-15) Saturday.

"We're really excited with our victory today," head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "I thought we had a really nice overall performance at the invitational. A lot of different girls contributed. We had a nice scouting report and stuck with it. The ball rolled our way a bunch of times, so that was nice."

The Cougars, now 12-0, have won four-consecutive tournaments to begin the 2012 season. The match against George Washington was the final match before West Coast Conference play starts Thursday and BYU’s ninth sweep of the season.

Alexa Gray won her first tournament MVP award, with Jennifer Hamson and Kathryn LeCheminant also earning all-tournament honors.

Warner led the Cougar offense with a season-high 14 kills on .722 hitting, aided by Heather Hannemann’s 33 assists. Gray had 12 kills. Freshman libero Ciara Parker had 13 digs and outside hitter Jessica Jardine recorded 10.

George Washington tied up the first set 3-3 after giving BYU the first three points of the set. The Cougars proved unfazed, answering with a 5-0 scoring streak. George Washington didn’t get closer than three the rest of the set.

Warner pushed the Cougars to their first set win of the night with two kills and a block with Hamson, allowing Jardine to take the set 25-17 on a kill.

The Colonials kept the beginning of the second set much closer, staying within two points until four George Washington attack errors put the Cougars ahead 11-5. An 8-0 run by BYU, made up of three kills in a row by Gray and a Gray and Warner block, gave the Cougars a 19-7 lead.

George Washington couldn’t come up with a good response to BYU’s precision on the court, as Parker punched a service ace and Jardine followed up with a kill, taking the set 25-9 in the team’s best set win of the season so far.

Ahead 8-6 in the final set, BYU used a 6-0 run to put away the match. Errors kept George Washington from a comeback, and Kimberly Dahl sealed the victory on a kill.

The Cougars begin conference play with a home matchup against No. 18 Pepperdine Thursday at 7 p.m. MT on BYUtv.

BYU vs. George Washington Box Score

Rachel Hawks is the women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.

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