BYU-Hawaii moves on to semifinals after sweeping West Texas A&M
PENSACOLA, Fla. – All-American outside hitter Stella Chen hammered 20 kills, hit .389 and came up with 19 digs to lead BYU-Hawaii to a 3-0 sweep of West Texas A&M in a quarterfinal match on Thursday. All-American setter Michelle Chen played an outstanding match as well, putting up 46 assists, serving both of the teams aces and getting 10 digs as the Seasiders advanced to Friday's semifinals, where they will face five-time defending champion Concordia-St. Paul.
The Seasiders, now 25-3 for the season, started slowly as West Texas A&M got out to an 8-6 lead in the opening set. BYE-Hawaii used a four-point run to overtake the Lady Buffs and never trailed again, despite never being quite able to pull away.
After giving up the first two points of the second set, BYU-Hawaii scored six consecutive points, two of them on kills by senior Lauren Hagemeyer, and pulled away for the win to go up 2-0.
BYU-Hawaii dominated the third set, scoring the first five points to put the Lady Buffs in a deep hole. West Texas A&M rallied briefly to within two points at 9-7, but it was all BYU-Hawaii the rest of the way.
The Seasiders dominated the match statistically, hitting .302 for the match to .142 for the Lady Buffs. BYU-Hawaii knocked down 53 kills to just 29 for West Texas A&M, and the Seasiders won the dig battle 55-37. The battle of the blocks also went the Seasiders’ way by an 11-8 margin.
Hagemeyer powered 11 kills and Tuli Tevaga added 10 for BYU-Hawaii. Ariel Hsu notched eight kills and three blocks. Courtney Skaggs knocked down just two kills in four attacks, but played a huge part for BYU-Hawaii at the net, putting up eight blocks.
Stella Chen, Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu and Tuli Tevaga each knocked down eight kills and Skaggs added six for BYU-Hawaii. Sophomore setter Michelle Chen set for 37 assists and Tevaga came up with 12 digs. Hsu, Skaggs and Stella Chen each put up three blocks in the match and Michelle Chen served both of BYU-Hawaii’s aces in the match. Junior libero Melanie Manutai notched eight digs in the win.
Kameryn Hayes had 11 kills to lead West Texas A&M, which finished the year 33-5. However, Hayes had eight of her kills in the first set while hitting .636. After Head Coach Wilfred Navalta made adjustments to the BYU-Hawaii defense, Hayes had just three kills in the final two sets and hit .000. Lauren Beville had 11 digs for the Lady Buffs.