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BYU volleyball: Cougars host Broncos for Senior Day

By Rachel Hawks

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6 2012 2:52 p.m. MST

PROVO, Utah — In its last conference home match of the year, the No. 14 BYU women’s volleyball team welcomes Santa Clara to the Smith Fieldhouse for a rematch Saturday at 1 p.m. MST. The match will be broadcast on BYUtv.

BYU, now 23-2 on the season and leading the West Coast Conference with an 11-2 record, lost to Santa Clara in the team’s last meeting in California. With BYU at match point in the fifth set, the Broncos went on a 4-0 run to take the set and the 3-2 (31-29, 20-25, 25-21, 13-24, 16-14) match from the Cougars.

The Cougars will honor their two seniors just prior to the Saturday match. Nicole Warner, a redshirt senior from Rigby, Idaho, and Heather Hannemann, a true senior from Alpine, Utah, will be graduating following the end of the volleyball season in December.

Jennifer Hamson leads the BYU offense, averaging 3.91 kills per set, and is aided by freshman outside hitter Alexa Gray’s 3.45 kills per set. Tia Withers plays libero with 2.95 digs per set.

BYU is coming off back-to-back wins last week. The Cougars took down then-No. 18 San Diego on Wednesday for sole ownership of first place in the WCC. BYU then defeated Loyola Marymount 3-0 Saturday.

BYU seniors

Senior setter Hannemann has recorded 2,215 assists and 450 digs during her time as a Cougar. Since the beginning of the 2012 season, Hannemann has ranked in the top 25 in NCAA stats for assists per set with 11.26. She also leads the West Coast Conference in assists and was named to the Rice Invitational and BYU Nike Invitational all-tournament teams. Hannemann has recorded eight double-doubles this season and had a career-high 57 assists in the match against Wichita State. She is ninth in BYU history for career assists.

Hannemann, a team captain for the Cougars this year, is majoring in exercise and wellness.

Senior middle blocker Warner has recorded 610 blocks, 755 kills and 196 digs during her BYU career. This season, Warner is No. 1 in the NCAA for blocks per set, collecting a whopping 1.75 average. Warner also leads the WCC in hitting percentage, hitting .434. She is fourth in BYU history for career block assists with 584 and fourth in BYU history for career blocks. Warner set a career high for blocks in a match this season, tallying 17 blocks against Loyola Marymount in October.

Warner has received five conference awards for academics, including being named to the 2011-12 WCC Honor Roll and academic all-conference team. Warner is majoring in exercise and wellness.

Santa Clara

The Broncos are now 19-8 on the season and 8-4 in the WCC, which is good for a third-place tie with Saint Mary’s in conference standings. BYU leads the series with Santa Clara 3-1-0.

At the head of the Bronco offense is Megan Anders, who leads with 3.11 kills per set. Anders is helped out by Taylor Milton’s 2.95 kills per set. Alyssa Anderson averages 6.49 assists per set, while Katy Schatzman leads with an average 3.43 digs per set. Lacey Maas has the head in blocking with 1.38 per set.

Santa Clara will face San Francisco at home Thursday before traveling to Provo.

How to watch

BYUtv will broadcast the match and live streaming is available at BYUtvsports.com. Live stats are also available on the volleyball schedule page and Twitter updates can be found on the BYU volleyball Twitter page.

Final matches

BYU has two weeks left of the regular season following the Santa Clara match. On Nov. 15 and Nov. 17, the Cougars will be on the road at Pepperdine and at San Diego, respectively. BYU defeated both teams at home earlier this season. The Cougars play their final match Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Smith Fieldhouse against UVU.

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

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