BYU volleyball: women’s volleyball ready for third season in WCC
PROVO — BYU women’s volleyball looks to expand on last season’s success as the Cougars prepare for a tough conference schedule in 2013.
“We are excited for the upcoming season in the WCC,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “There is no doubt that our conference will be stronger than it was last year. Each match will be an exciting competition. Out of conference, we are going up against great programs and playing against a handful of teams that competed in the NCAA tournament last year, but our preparation is the same as it always is.”
Last season BYU finished 28-4 and 13-3 in West Coast Conference play with a No. 12 national ranking. The conference record was good for a tied first-place finish in league play with San Diego. The Cougars advanced to the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament before falling to Oregon.
Breakdown by position
Returning to BYU’s front line is veteran middle blocker LeCheminant, who averaged 3.53 blocks per set last season. During the offseason, LeCheminant participated in the Women’s National A2 Program, a camp comprised of elite collegiate volleyball players from around the country, where she won gold with Team White during the tournament.
True sophomore All-American Gray returns for 2013, along with redshirt sophomore Kimberly Dahl. Gray was second on the team in kills per set with 3.26 on a .308 clip in 2012. Dahl was third, averaging 2.14 and hitting .193. Dahl attended the A2 program with LeCheminant during the summer.
Jardine returns for her senior season as an outside hitter along with juniors Hannah Robison and Katie Vaughn. Freshmen Burnett and Walker also join the ranks with transfer Haddock. Young backs up the position as well.
With Jennifer Hamson’s decision to redshirt in volleyball this year, the opposite position remains open without a clear starter. Boswell and Burnett are the duo that will see the most time at the position. Boswell backed up Hamson last season while Burnett is new to the role.
Look for Kimberli’s sister Amy, who also plays middle blocker, to back up the opposite position as well.
Godfrey received honorable mention last season at Salt Lake Community College, while White appeared in 14 matches for Utah Valley as a true freshman, posting a season-high nine assists against No. 16 BYU.
The Cougars return junior Tia Withers Welling as the team's primary libero. Welling totaled 360 digs last season while playing in all 112 sets.
BYU has two other liberos/defensive specialists in its ranks with sophomore Ciara Parker and freshman Makenna Santiago. Last season, Parker recorded a team-high 385 digs (good for No. 8 in BYU history for digs in a season) and played in all but one set.
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