SAN BRUNO, Calif. – No. 13 BYU and Loyola Marymount had their NCAA postseason runs halted in the Sweet-16 round on Friday. The Cougars suffered a sweep to No. 4 Nebraska in the Lexington Regional, while the Lions fell in four to No. 9 Kansas in the San Diego Regional.
BYU and Loyola Marymount’s appearances in the regional semifinals marks the second time in three seasons two West Coast Conference programs have advanced to the Sweet-16.
NO. 4 NEBRASKA 3, NO. 13 BYU 0
LEXINGTON, Kentucky – Despite Alexa Gray's 19 kills, No. 13 seed BYU women's volleyball fell to No. 4 seed Nebraska in straight sets (26-24, 25- 17, 25-23) in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament at the University of Kentucky Friday evening.
"Congrats to Nebraska on a well-played match and for advancing," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "I'm so proud of our team and these girls and their fight. I think we struggled to bounce back after that close first set loss. We couldn't seem to get it going the way that we had all season."
Gray led all hitters with 19 kills and added 15 digs for a double-double in her last game as a Cougar. Amy Boswell had eight kills and five blocks, and Camry Godfrey Willardson had 20 assists. Ciara Parker had a team-high 18 digs and Cosy Burnett added seven kills.
The Cougars lose three seniors from this year’s squad, all starters – Alexa Gray, Ciara Parker and Camry Godfrey Willardson.
NO. 9 KANSAS 3, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 1
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – LMU Volleyball's historic NCAA Tournament run ended in the Sweet Sixteen on Friday night, as LMU (24-9) dropped a four-set match to #9 Kansas (29-2) by scores of 25-19, 25-11, 21-25, 25-13. The Sweet Sixteen appearance was the second in program history, matching the furthest run into the NCAA tournament first accomplished in 1996.
Kelsie Payne led the Kansas attack with 21 kills on 40 swings for a .400 hitting percentage. Kansas hit .296 as a team, but the Jayhawk blocking efforts proved most impressive, as Kansas posted 15 blocks led by 11 block assists and one block solo from Tayler Soucie. Setter Ainise Havili dished out 49 assists to help Kansas to the solid hitting percentage.
Sarah Sponcil led the Lion offense with 13 kills, but was limited to just .154 hitting over 52 attacks. Senior Hannah Tedrow registered three block assists while accumulating 34 assists from the setter position, but LMU was held to just .050 hitting overall in the four sets.
Kansas advances to the play the winner of top-seed USC and Creighton on Saturday night at 8 pm PT. LMU finishes the year with a 24-9 overall record. The 24 victories are the most for the Lions since posting 26 in 2003.