In what we can only hope to be a prediction of how Saturday's game will go, our BYU women's volleyball team took the game 3-2 in a five-set game at Utah's Huntsman Center.
BYU pulled out a 3 point lead with a few well timed kills and block from Kathryn LeCheminant, 6-3. Utah answered with a 4-0 run putting them up by 1, 6-7. The teams traded pretty evenly from there after a game changing kill by Tambre Haddock that put us up by 1, 15-14. Points traded pretty evenly until Haddock won the match for us, 25-23.
Utah didn't take that lying down. They came back at the beginning of the second set with a strong 7-2 lead. Coach called a timeout to slow down the momentum and pump up the team. It seems to have worked as they came back with a 4-1 streak helping them to close the gap, 6-8. The Utes held their ground though and quickly widened that gap, 15-9. There was no recovery, no great kill to change the momentum again, and Ute Makenzi Moea'i helped drive the game to a 25-17 victory.
3rd and 4th sets
Now that the teams were equally warmed up and ready to win, they each took a set (25-14 and 20-25). Each team destined to win the set seemed to take an early lead and keep it to win the sets. This set up a tie for the series, 2-2.
If early leads are anything to go off of then, BYU had it from its first run. They took an early 3-1 lead on Utah. The Utes weren't taken that without a fight though, They quickly stole the lead, 6-5, but not for long. Fighting as hard as they could, BYU came took it back 11-8 after a Ute ball-handling error. They kept it close to the bitter end, but the Cougars took the match 15-12.
Final Results: (25-23, 17-25, 25-14, 20-25, 15-12)
BYU: Alexa led the team with 15 kills on 34 attempts. Also of note was Camry Godrey with 37 assists and Tia Withers Welling with 18 digs. On the defensive end, Kathryn LeCheminant lead with seven blocks on the night.
Utah: Props to the attackers. Top 3 players with attack percentages were Shelby Dalton (0.289), Bailey Bateman (0.267), and Erin Redd-Brandon (0.231).
Player Spotlight of the Game
Alexa Gray #9
Alexa started playing volleyball in grade 6 and has helped her teams take first in Varsity Girls Provincial Volleyball Championships as a junior in High school, and claim national and provincial champ titles in club teams. She has also played rugby and basketball and has a bullet list a mile long on her accomplishments in her freshman year alone at BYU (noted among those was WCC Freshman of the Year, and named to the Rice Invitational all-tournament team).
Alexa and the rest of our women will take home court advantage again on Friday with their first conference game against No. 2 ranked San Diego. You can watch the game live on BYUtv at 7 p.m. MDT. Keep track of what's going on stats wise with the online streaming version on the team's schedule page.