A record-setting block performance led No. 9 BYU women's volleyball past New Mexico State in a 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-21) win Saturday afternoon at the Pan American Center.
"I was impressed with the fight in this group," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "We weren't very good offensively, but our defense was unreal. Alohi (Robins-Hardy) did great at sparking our team when we were down. This was a good, tough win."
Amy Boswell collected a team-high six solo blocks, which set a BYU record in the rally scoring era. Whitney Young tallied nine total blocks on the day, and Jennifer Hamson added six blocks (including three solo blocks) and seven kills in the victory. BYU as a team totaled 20 blocks, which ties for 10th most all-time in the BYU rally scoring era and most in a three-set match.
BYU (7-2) took a quick 9-1 lead against New Mexico State (3-5) in the first set with help from consecutive kills by Hamson. The Aggies followed with a 4-1 run of their own to bridge the gap to five at 10-5. A Hannah Robison kill later extended BYU's lead to 10 at 17-7. Four-straight points from New Mexico State then brought it within six at 17-11 and forced Olmstead to call timeout. A Boswell kill opened up set point for the Cougars, and a Gray kill ended the set, 25-16.
Robison started things off in the second set with a kill for BYU. The Aggies took a 6-4 advantage from a 4-0 run that included a pair of Cougar attack errors. BYU then went on a 4-0 run of its own to retake the lead, 8-4. The two teams traded points from there with the Aggies retaking a 14-12 lead. The Cougars again retook the lead in the back-and-forth battle at 20-18 after a Tambre Nobles kill. BYU ended the set on an 8-1 run, including a block that gave the Cougars a 25-19 win.
New Mexico State jumped out to a 4-1 advantage early in the third set with a block. The Aggies maintained their lead at 12-4 after a block from New Mexico State's Gwen Murphy, which forced a BYU timeout. A 7-2 run for the Cougars ensued after the break, bringing BYU within three at 14-11. The Cougars eventually retook their lead at 16-15 with help from a Hamson kill. BYU continued to spread the gap at 21-17 after another Robison kill. The Cougars' momentum continued to the end of the set as BYU took the set and match, 25-21, from a kill by Nobles.
The Cougars continue play on the road next Tuesday when they travel to Pocatello, Idaho, to take on Idaho State. Live stats and a video feed for the match, which begins at 7 p.m. MDT, 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.