Bulldogs Volleyball Falls In Provo To #24 BYU
PROVO, Utah – Redshirt sophomore Savannah Blinn had 11 kills and four digs as Gonzaga University women’s volleyball attempted to play spoiler at No. 24 BYU but it was all Cougars in a 3-0 sweep (25-19, 25-23, 25-22) Thursday night in the Smith Fieldhouse.
“It took us too many plays to recognize what they were doing on the other side of the net,” head coach Dave Gantt said. “We have been playing at a high level; we just did not sustain it like we did in our three previous matches we won at home. My hope is we learned more about ourselves as we head into the weekend.”
The Bulldogs drop to 11-13 overall and 7-8 in West Coast Conference play. BYU, riding a 26 match home winning streak, improves to 21-5, 14-2 WCC.
After a frustrating first set where Gonzaga attacked at a -.032 line, the Bulldogs came out and challenged the Cougars in the second frame. Upping its attack to .485, the Zags hung tight with BYU until the final moments of the set.
“We did not do what we needed to offensively in the first set,” Gantt stated. “We improved in the second and third with above average efforts. Defensively we did a better job but had a hard time with off-speed attacks.”
BYU carried a 24-21 match point but GU remained resilient. Defensive blocks from Imani Wimbush and Jordan Gasser gave the Zags back-to-back points forcing BYU into a timeout, 24-23. Out of the break it was a Cougar set piece that gave Tambre Haddock the set clinching kill down the middle.
Down early in the third set, a 4-0 Bulldogs run brought GU within two at 13-11. The Zags would continue to push the Cougars and tied the set seven times. A crucial tie at 20 saw back-to-back GU errors resulting in a Gantt timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Zags took two of the next three points on Blinn attacks bringing the score to 23-22. Unfortunately BYU closed out the match on kills from Alexa Gray and Hannah Robinson.
“I think Jordan believes she can keeping playing as well as she is,” Gantt said. “She is starting to trust herself and it shows. I like what she did tonight and how she was very consistent throughout. With Kiani in, our offense was running as smooth as it was all day. Positive signs for two young players.”
Gonzaga has its last road match of the season Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to eighth-ranked University of San Diego. The Zags and Toreros will square off at 1 p.m. in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.