PROVO — The No. 17 BYU women’s volleyball team won three-straight sets (26-24, 28-26, 25-13) against Loyola Marymount Saturday to stay undefeated at home.
"I knew it would be tough," BYU head coach Shawn Olmsteadsaid. "They are very well coached. I wasn't surprised it was a tough match. I knew it was coming, but the win is another step for us."
BYU improves its record to 23-2 and 11-2 in conference play, while LMU falls to 15-11 and 6-7 in the WCC.
Alexa Gray led the way for the Cougars offensively with 16 kills, while Heather Hannemann contributed 35 assists. Tia Withers had 11 digs and Jennifer Hamson recorded eight blocks to lead the team defensively. She also had 11 kills andCiara Parker contributed 10 digs.
BYU and LMU traded points early in the first set, until a Cougar error and a Lion ace sparked a run for LMU. At 4-7, BYU took advantage of some LMU errors and executed on defense for a 5-0 run to give the Cougars the lead. LMU fought back to tie the game at 11, but BYU earned the point to break the tie on a block from Hamson and Nicole Warner. BYU and LMU stayed close and the game eventually settled at a 24-24 tie. However, LMU committed its seventh service error to give BYU set point and then Gray smashed her ninth kill of the set to give BYU the 26-24 victory.
BYU continued its run into the second set and used scrappy defense to earn the early 4-0 lead. LMU cut the Cougar lead to two at 9-7, but BYU answered on a back row attack from Hamson to side out for the Cougars. LMU stayed within two points until a kill from Hamson and a service ace from Ciara Parker raised BYU to a 14-10 lead. With the score tied at 19, Gray came up big once again for the Cougars with three-straight kills. LMU fought back to even the score at 26, but a service ace from Hannemann secured the 28-26 victory for BYU.
In set three, BYU and LMU continued the competitive play and traded point for point until BYU’s blocking game sparked a 3-0 run for the Cougars to put them up 12-9. BYU earned its biggest lead of the set at 15-10 to force a Lion timeout and then BYU continued its run to pull away with the 25-13 win.
BYU will play next against Santa Clara at home on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. MST.
Jamie Morris is the softball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.