BYU volleyball: No. 16 BYU defeats No. 14 Pepperdine

By Aaron Sorenson

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Sept. 20 2012 9:29 p.m. MDT

PROVO, Utah – The No. 16 BYU women’s volleyball team continued its unbeaten streak as it defeated the No. 14 Pepperdine Waves in three sets (25-23, 25-17, 25-22) on Thursday at the Smith Fieldhouse. The last time BYU beat a top-15 ranked opponent in Provo was in 2007 when the Cougars faced No. 10 Wisconsin.

“I think we played a pretty balanced match,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “There were times when we gave up a little lead which was unfortunate, but the ability to come back from that and show some heart and some gut, I like that. It was exciting to start conference play that way, it was a good start for us.”

Junior Jennifer Hamson recorded 16 kills and three blocks to lead the Cougars, and outside hitter Alexa Gray added 13 kills. Senior Heather Hannemann contributed to the victory with 43 assists.

Pepperdine was led by Jazmine Orozco, last week’s West Coast Conference Player of the Week, with 10 kills and 10 digs.

The Cougars came out on top of the first set, 25-23, after an evenly fought set. BYU led for most of the set, but Pepperdine tied the score 14 times to keep the competition close. Sophomore Kathryn LeCheminant led both teams with six kills.

After trailing, 15-11, BYU rallied to score nine unanswered points, which lead to the second set victory, 25-17. Hamson, who is ranked No. 20 in NCAA Division I volleyball for points per set, tallied 11 kills and two blocks after just two sets of play.

The third set featured three lead changes and two Pepperdine 4-0 runs, but BYU sealed the sweep, 25-22.

BYU hosts Gonzaga Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Smith Fieldhouse.

Aaron Sorenson is a sports information director at BYU.

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