Sept. 7, 2007
Palo Alto, Ca - Saint Mary's faced No. 9 BYU in the second match of the Stanford Invitational Friday night at Maples Pavilion. The Gaels fell in three close games to the Cougars, 30-32, 22-30, 29-31. Megan York led the way for the Gaels, posting her third double-double for the season, with 13 kill and 14 digs. Sophomore Alita Fisher recorded 20 digs on the match, while also tallying three service aces. The Cougars were led by junior Bryn Porter, tallying 17 kills with a .359 hitting percentage.
The Gaels battled back and forth with the Cougars throughout game one. A block by York and Burton put the Gaels on the board, and a Fisher ace would give Saint Mary's the lead at 4-3. Lowell would chip in a kill and Payne would add an ace to give the Gaels a 6-4 advantage over the Cougars. The Cougars would then go on an 11-4 run to give BYU a five point advantage over the Gaels, 10-15.
Saint Mary's would continue to trade sideouts with the Cougars, decreasing the defecit one point at a time. Brittany Barker pounded a slide attack down the line late in game one, putting the Gaels down four, and a Payne ace would put Saint Mary's within two. The Gaels would continue to steal the momentum, scoring on a triple block by Barker, Lowell, and Groess, a Cougar attack error, and a York ace. The run would put the Gaels ahead, 29-28, but would not be enough to tackle the Cougars, losing the game, 30-32. The Cougars recorded a .319 hitting percentage in the game to the Gaels .159. Sophomore Lauren Jaeckel continued to display consistency, posting a .600 hitting percentage. The Cougars were led by outside hitter Bryn Porter with seven kills on fourteen swings, with no errors.
The second game of the match would continue in the same way, with five ties before either team reached ten. BYU went on a four point run to give the Cougars the lead at 11-8. Saint Mary's would not catch rhythm, as the Cougars went on a 10-3 run late in game two to put BYU up nine. The Gaels would not let up, recording a three point run of their own. Two Jaeckel kills and a Groess ace pulled Saint Mary's to 24-18, but the run would not be enough as BYU would win the game, 30-22. York posted a team-high seven kills in the game, while also adding five digs. Middle blocker Megan Burton recorded four kills in the game, tallying a .231 hitting percentage.
Service aces would keep the Gaels close in game three, recording aces by both Fisher and Jaeckel at the start. A big block by Kamana'o pulled the Gaels within one, and a Jaeckel kill tied the game at 12 apiece. A Saint Mary's service error would give the Cougars the lead, but York would take advantage of an overpass to put away her tenth kill of the night, tying the game at 14-14. BYU would go on a late 6-2 run, putting the Cougars up 20-15. The Gaels defense forced the Cougars into three hitting errors late in game three, and a Groess kill tied the game at 22 apiece. Saint Mary's would sting together three consecutive points, recording a Groess kill and two back row attacks by York, capturing the lead at 25-23. The battled continued as middles for both teams recorded successful attacks, but the Gaels maintained the lead, 27-25, on a York kill. The Cougars tied the game at 27-27, and a kill by Lowell took back the lead, at 28-27. A well placed tip by Barker gave the Gaels 29, but the cougars answered back with a quick attack in the middle. Consecutive Porter kills gave the Cougars the lead, 30-29, forcing the Gaels to use their final timeout. BYU would put away the Gaels on a swing by opposite Erica Lott, defeating Saint Mary's 31-29.
Saint Mary's finishes play in the Stanford Invitational on September 8 at 4:30 P.M. against No. 17 Cal Poly.