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Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics

Bulldogs Fall On The Road To BYU

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 09/22/2012
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PROVO, Utah - The Gonzaga University volleyball team ended its first weekend of West Coast Conference action with a 3-0 loss to BYU (25-17, 25-7, 25-14) Saturday at Smith Fieldhouse.

"First off, we have to give BYU a ton of credit," fourth-year head coach Dave Gantt said. "They are the real deal and very talented. For us, we did not have the personality on the court we want. We cannot teach experience and this is one of those things we are going to have to live and play through."

With the win, 16th-ranked BYU remained undefeated (14-0, 2-0 WCC) and the Bulldogs fell to (8-7, 0-2 WCC).

The first set was a battle between the two squads. Both teams sided out until BYU broke it open.

Redshirt freshman Savannah Blinn brought the Zags within one of BYU, 13-12. However, it was the closest the Zags would be in the set.

"We maintained our composure for two-thirds of the first set," Gantt said. "We struggled to recover when our play dropped. This is a process for us and to play at this level, we need to continue to work at it."

BYU won 12 of the final 17 points and wrapped up the set with kill by Kathryn LeCheminant. Junior Meredith Crenshaw had a strong set with six kills and senior Kylie Edinger played well with four.

The second set was all BYU. Gantt rotated between one-and-two setter systems, but the Bulldogs struggled to mount anything offensively. BYU jumped to a 17-3 lead after a 14-0 run.

"We are all going through this rough patch," Gantt said. "We need to just work and get up to speed on a few things. We know the level of play we need to maintain. We just have to find consistent performances from our young players."

Crenshaw had another four kills in the third set and Blinn had two, but it was not enough to slow BYU. The Cougars attack percentage was .474 and Alexa Gray had nine kills.

"When our serve receive and defense both go south, we will be in trouble," Gantt said. "Our performance dipped and we could not quite fill the void.

BYU took a 17-9 lead in the set after a 5-0 run and Cougars closed the match on a Gonzaga attack error.

"We just need to stay the course," Gantt said. "On Monday we will back in the gym getting to work. To get where we want will require emotion, blood, sweat and tears. We are learning how to do things and we are moving along with our youth."

Gonzaga hits the road again for its next WCC match when it travels to the University of Portland Thursday.

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