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BYU Women's Volleyball: #12 Cougars defeat Waves in four.

The Waves took one set on the Cougars home floor but couldn't complete the upset against the high flying Cougars.

Hamson recorded 20 kills against the Wave
Hamson recorded 20 kills against the Wave
Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo

In a rematch with the Pepperdine Wave the BYU Cougars were looking to repeat their three set sweep from earlier this year.  BYU came into the match with a 17-3 record and 8-1 in the WCC. Pepperdine was hoping to stay close while sniffing the upset, but came into the match 7-14 and 2-7 in the WCC. BYU was in the top 10 last week but their only conference loss, to San Diego, dropped them in the rankings. This game would turn out with another Cougars win and another step towards the post season.

First Set:

BYU started off with a quick lead using the block, as they have all year. BYU is ranked first in the country in blocks with 3.9 blocks per set. With a quick 7-2 lead the Cougars looked to be running away with the first set, and Pepperdine didn't help themselves with errors. Before the first time out the Wave had already accumulated four errors and found themselves down six. After giving the Wave a couple of points out of the timeout, the Cougars forced another timeout as they scored five straight and took a 14-5 lead and forcing another Pepperdine timeout.

The Wave again came out and scored first after the time out, but BYU again increased their lead to 15 before allowing the Wave to score again. With a 22-8 lead the Cougars looked crisp and ready roll through another opponent. The Cougars finished off the set with a Jennifer Hamson kill to win 25-10 and move on to set two. BYU finished the set with one block and held Pepperdine to -.065 hitting. Hamson led the Cougars with five kills.

Second Set:

Pepperdine started the scoring in the second set but again the Cougars used their size to score as they blocked two straight kills. Pepperdine wouldn't give up as easily in the second set and took a 6-4 lead on a couple of their own blocks. The Wave would increase their lead to four, 10-6, before the Cougars fought back to within one.

The two teams would continue to fight, neither team wanting to give the other team an advantage. A time out would finally be called as the Cougars  and Waves found themselves in a close 15-14 set. BYU was forced to call another quick timeout as Pepperdine came out and scored two straight, increasing their lead to 17-14.

The teams would trade points out of the time out but the Waves blocking proved to be a difficult hurdle to overcome. with seven blocks in the set, the Wave found a measure of confidence. Pepperdine continued to play to perfection in the set and maintained their four point lead up until the end as they finished off the set as they blocked a kill to win 25-20. BYU ended with four blocks and Hamson added four more kills.

Third Set:

BYU wanted to come out strong in the third set and started things off with a block for the first point. BYU looked more energetic to start the set and quickly took a 3-1 lead. Pepperdine would come right back and tie the game at three, and again at four, before taking the lead at five. The teams would continue to trade points until the Wave took four straight points to lead 11-7. BYU appeared to be a little shell shocked as they fought to get back into the game. A few kills, Wave hitting errors, and a block allowed BYU to tie the game at 13.

After a timeout the Cougars looked to find some momentum but they again found themselves playing catch up as Pepperdine scored first and took a two point lead. One block later and the Cougars tied it up before giving the lead back with a hitting error. BYU finally took the momentum back as they scored three straight points to lead 22-20 before a timeout. For the first time in the match the Cougars scored first out of the time out and forced a Waves timeout with BYU leading 23-20. BYU finished on a 6-0 run and took the set 25-20. The Cougars hit .407 in the set while holding the Wave to .267.

Fourth Set:

BYU started off the fourth set with a block and a kill, giving the Cougars a 2-0 lead. After an incredible dig by Alohi Robins-Hardy, a hitting error by the Waves gave BYU the three point lead and the momentum. Pepperdine would score their first point of the match, but would allow the Cougars a couple more before calling a timeout down 6-1. Pepperdine came out of the timeout with a 3-0 run behind a career high kills (23) for Katie Messing. BYU couldn't stem the momentum as the Wave again went on a run and took a 8-7 lead heading into a BYU timeout.

Coming out of the timeout the Cougars went on a quick 3-0 run of their own, taking back the lead 10-8. With the set tied at 11 the Waves committed their ninth service error and the Cougars used it to launch a 4-0 scoring run to give the Cougars a 15-11 lead before a Waves timeout. BYU would take the lead in blocks for the match on the first play out of the timeout and increase their lead to 17-11 as Pepperdine looked rattled and defeated. Pepperdine would finally end the Cougars scoring run at 9-0, giving the Cougars a 20-12 lead. BYU would allow the Wave a small run before earning match point at 24-17. BYU would finish off the wave on a kill by Cosy Burnett to win 25-17. Hamson would lead all Cougars with 20 kills while Alexa Gray added 12. Whitney Young would lead all players with 10 blocks and Ciara Parker added 14 digs to her all-time leading total.

Next Match:

BYU will next travel to Santa Clara to take on the Broncos on Thursday, October 30th at 7pm MDT and then to San Francisco for a match on Saturday, November 1st at 2 pm MDT.