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Jaren Wilkey/BYU, Jaren Wilkey/BYU
Team Celebration_SW19364 14wVLB NCAA vs Florida State University BYU Celebrates a point over FSU in the second set. The BYU Women's Volleyball Team defeated the #6 seed Florida State University 3-1 in the Third Round of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships held at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, Washington. December 12, 2014 Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU © BYU PHOTO 2014 All Rights Reserved [email protected] (801)422-7322
What an outstanding match... It was kind of similar to last week. I just remembered that some of these kids didn't want their season to be over last week and it was the same story today. —BYU coach Shawn Olmstead

SEATTLE — BYU’s brightest star looked every bit the part in helping secure a win over No. 6-seeded Florida State and secure a spot in the NCAA women’s volleyball elite tournament. The Cougars took the match in four sets (25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 26-24) Friday night with Jen Hamson leading the way with a career-high 30 kills.

Hamson, who is arguably BYU’s most accomplished athlete ever, played biggest when it mattered most.

Down 24-21 in the fourth set, the 6-foot-7 two-sport star capped off a furious 5-0 run with two straight points to take the match. The match-winning point came when Hamson rose high above the net to send in a spike that glanced off a Seminole defender and then out-of-reach. Her teammates rushed the court to mob her soon after.

“What an outstanding match,” said BYU coach Shawn Olmstead. "Hats off to Florida State for an outstanding season. I can't say enough about their fight through sets three and four. It was kind of similar to last week. I just remembered that some of these kids didn't want their season to be over last week and it was the same story today."

After going down 6-2 early in the first set, the Cougars rolled to take a commanding 21-14 lead by virtue of a 15-8 run. They held on from there to take the first set 25-20 and seize early momentum.

The momentum continued into the second as the Cougars jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and then rolled to take the set 25-19. A well-placed kill by BYU's Tambre Nobles provided the set-winning point.

BYU looked poised for the sweep early in the third with an 8-5 lead before Florida State rallied to build a comfortable lead to take the set 25-19.

The match seemed headed to go five sets with the Seminoles leading 16-11, but the Cougars wouldn't go away. They chipped away at the lead to close within 24-21.

From there they withstood three consecutive set-points for the Seminoles to tie things at 24-24 before Hamson finished things off.

As mentioned, Hamson led her team with 30 kills and also contributed six blocks and 10 digs. Alohi Robins-Hardy contributed team-highs in digs (15) and assists (37). Amy Boswell and Whitney Young contributed seven blocks apiece, with Alexa Gray adding 12 kills.

Florida State was led by Nicole Walch and her team-high 23 kills. Milica Kubura and Sarah Burrington added 11 and 10 kills respectively.

With the win, BYU advances to take on No. 14-seeded Nebraska Saturday at 9:30 p.m. MST.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney