The match was the first of three the Mountaineers will play as part of the Gold & Blue Player’s Challenge. They will face Toledo on Saturday at 2 p.m. before wrapping up the tournament with a 7 p.m. tilt against IUPUI.
“I liked our team’s resolve tonight,” said coach Jill Kramer. “I think in each of the sets, we gave a pretty big run at the beginning and then would be down pretty big. We kept fighting, stayed patient and stayed really calm and just kind of figured some things out. We stepped up at the serving line and did a pretty good job there when we were down. I think the difference was they out-blocked us 18-4. They’re one of the best blocking teams in the country going into this from last year and heading back into it this year.”
Freshman Gianna Gotterba
got her first career start at defensive specialist for the Mountaineers with seven digs on the evening. Fellow newcomer Lamprini Konstantinidou
rotated in at setter early on and led with squad with 37 assists and four aces, while Melvina Brown
marked the third freshman to see the court in her career debut.
Anderson hit .256 and had 11 digs for a double-double, while Caleah Wells
hit a team-best .312 and added a trio of block assists to go along with eight kills. Hannah Sackett
just missed double figures with nine kills.
The Cougars hit .234 in the match, with both Alexa Gray and Jennifer Hamson finishing with 10 kills. Amy Boswell led the way with eight block assists and a block solo as BYU recorded 18.0 team blocks.
After BYU jumped out to a 6-2 lead to start the first set, the Mountaineers used a pair of kills from Anderson on a 6-2 run to tie the game at 8-8. Anderson added two more kills as the Mountaineers put up four straight points to take a 13-10 lead over the Cougars. BYU later used a pair of WVU miscues to take a 21-18 lead and went on to set up set-point before the Mountaineers rallied to tie the set at 24-24. Back-to-back blocks by the Cougars would give them the 29-27 set victory.
WVU again found itself in an early hole, trailing 8-3 in the second set before 5-1 spurt tied things up at 11-all. The two teams traded points before the Cougars rattled off six straight for a 21-16 lead. Two straight kills from Gray gave BYU the 25-20 set win as they led the match 2-0.
The Mountaineers trailed 9-2 to start the second set before Wells ended a Cougar scoring streak with a block and a kill. WVU gained some momentum to cut the deficit to four at 10-7 on a kill by Anderson, but couldn’t close the gap. A Nikki Attea
kill started a rally for the Mountaineers, who rolled off five straight, but still trailed BYU, 21-18. The Cougars took the set 25-20 to win the match 3-0.