SANTA CLARA, Calif. – BYU women’s volleyball lost in a four-set (25-27, 22-25, 25-23, 23-25) battle on the road at Santa Clara on Saturday.
“They served us tough and we didn't respond nor make the changes,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Hats off to Santa Clara and their staff. Tough one to lose, but we have to move on and prepare for our next opponent.”
Sophomore Alexa Gray led the team with 19 kills on 47 attempts to hit a .319 clip, while adding five block assists. Freshman Whitney Young led the team defensively with nine total blocks, while setter Camry Godfrey contributed 45 assists. Sophomore Ciara Parker added a team-high 18 digs. Junior Tambre Haddock, senior Kathryn LeCheminant and junior Hannah Robison all tallied double-figures in kills with 14, 10 and 10, respectively.
LeCheminant got things started for the Cougars (20-5, 13-2 WCC) in the first set with a kill. A pair of 4-0 runs put the Broncos (9-14, 4-10 WCC) ahead 11-7 and forced a BYU timeout. On the heels of Santa Clara’s second run, the Broncos added another 4-1 rally to take a 15-9 edge. The Cougars trailed by as many as seven points before Gray and Young teamed up for a trio of blocks, making the score 18-14. BYU then rallied to tie the set at 21 from a Robison service ace. The score was tied again at points 22, 23, 24 and 25 before Santa Clara took the first set, 27-25.
The Broncos started off strong in the second set, racing out to an 8-3 lead. The Cougars continued to trail by five until two Gray kills put BYU down by three at 14-11. Later, the Cougars went on a 7-1 run to come within a point at 20-19. In the end, BYU couldn’t find an answer for Santa Clara’s attack, as the Broncos took the second set, 25-22.
Both teams traded points early on in the third set with the score tied at 8-8. Santa Clara slowly began to take the lead from the Cougars at 14-10, but BYU was able to battle its way back within a point at 15-14 from a Young kill. After a 6-1 Cougar run, BYU took a 20-18 lead that forced the Broncos to call timeout. Gray led the Cougars to set point after three kills, and Robison finished off the set, 25-23, with a kill.
The score was tied up early at 6-6 before Santa Clara tallied three-straight points to take a 9-6 advantage. Olmstead called another timeout after the Broncos took a 15-13 lead from a service ace. The score remained within two points until two consecutive kills from Sabrina Clayton put Santa Clara up 20-17. The Cougars couldn’t stop the Broncos as they took the fourth set and match, 25-23.
The loss leaves BYU in a tie for first place in West Coast Conference play with San Diego.
The Cougars return home to the Smith Fieldhouse next week on Thursday to face conference foe Gonzaga. The match will be broadcast live on BYUtv. 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.