PROVO, Utah – No. 16 BYU continued its unbeaten streak as it defeated No. 14 Pepperdine in three sets (25-23, 25-17, 25-22) on Thursday at the Smith Fieldhouse. The last time BYU beat a top-15 opponent in Provo was in 2007 when the Cougars defeated No. 10 Wisconsin.
“I think we played a pretty balanced match,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “There were times when we gave up a little lead which was unfortunate, but the ability to come back from that and show some heart and some gut, I like that. It was exciting to start conference play that way, it was a good start for us.”
Jennifer Hamson recorded 16 kills and three blocks to lead the Cougars and outside hitter Alexa Gray added 13 kills. Heather Hannemann contributed to the victory with 43 assists. Pepperdine was led by Jazmine Orozco, last week’s West Coast Conference Player of the Week, with 10 kills and 10 digs.
The Cougars came out on top of the first set 25-23 after an evenly fought set. BYU led for most of the set, but Pepperdine tied the score 14 times to keep the competition close. Kathryn LeCheminant led both teams with six kills.
After trailing 15-11, BYU rallied to score nine unanswered points, which led to the second set victory 25-17. Hamson, who is ranked No. 20 in NCAA Division I volleyball for points per set, tallied 11 kills and two blocks after just two sets of play.
The third set featured three lead changes and two Pepperdine 4-0 runs, but BYU sealed the sweep 25-22.