BYU volleyball: Cougars escape Lions, remain unbeaten in conference play

By Royce Hinton

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Oct. 5 2013 4:40 p.m. MDT

LOS ANGELES – Junior outside hitter Tambre Haddock led the BYU women’s volleyball team to a five-set (23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-25, 15-11) victory over league opponent Loyola Marymount on Saturday to give the Cougars a 5-0 start in conference play.

“Another long, tough match with LMU,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I was proud of our kids staying strong through the ebbs and flows of this match. LMU is a tough team and put a lot of pressure on us from the service line.”

Haddock had 16 kills on 56 attempts, six digs and two blocks in the win. Sophomore libero Ciara Parker recorded 15 digs, and sophomore setter Camry Godfrey added 42 assists. Freshman Whitney Young led BYU on defense with nine total blocks.

The Cougars got their first points in the fifth and final set from four Haddock kills. BYU was ahead, 8-5, until three straight points from the Lions tied things up at 8. The Cougars rallied, with three kills from three different players, to take a 13-10 edge. A Hannah Robison and Kathryn LeCheminant block gave BYU the five-set win.

To begin the match, Loyola Marymount got off to a quick 5-2 start from consecutive kills by Lion Kathleen Luft. The Cougars struggled to find a rhythm as Olmstead called his first timeout trailing, 9-4. Following the break, BYU went on a 4-0 run to bring the Cougars within two at 10-8. A block and kill from Haddock closed the gap for BYU and left the Cougars with a 14-13 advantage. Both sides battled back and forth until four straight kills gave the Lions a 22-18 lead. BYU then came back to tie things up at 23 apiece before Loyola Marymount took the set, 25-23, from a pair of Cougar errors.

BYU started off strong in the second set, taking a 4-1 lead from a Robison kill. The Lions fought back, though, taking an 8-6 lead after scoring five consecutive points. The Cougars followed the Loyola Marymount effort by going on a 9-1 run of their own to regain the lead, 15-9. BYU maintained the lead throughout the rest of the set, taking it at 25-22 on an Alexa Gray kill.

Both teams traded points early in the third set until a 4-0 run from the Lions put them ahead, 8-5. A 6-0 run by the Cougars followed to give BYU the 11-8 edge. The battle continued from there as the score between the two squads stayed within a point of each other for 19-consecutive points. Loyola Marymount pulled ahead, 24-22, near the end of the set, but the Cougars followed with four straight points to take the set, 26-24.

The Lions took a 10-4 lead to start the fourth set from an early 8-1 run. Loyola Marymount maintained a sizeable lead throughout the rest of the set, with the Cougars unable to slow down the Lions. Loyola Marymount won, 25-15, to force the fifth set.

BYU returns home to the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday to take on the Santa Clara Broncos at 7 p.m. MDT. Links to live stats can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.

Royce Hinton is the women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.

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