SEATTLE, Wash. - Jennifer Hamson led No. 12 BYU women's volleyball to a four-set (25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 26-24) victory Friday night at Alaska Airlines Arena to advance to the regional finals of the NCAA tournament.
"What an outstanding match," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "Hats off to Florida State for an outstanding season. I can't say enough about their fight through sets three and four. It was kind of similar to last week. I just remembered that some of these kids didn't want their season to be over last week and it was the same story today."
Hamson led the Cougars with a career-high 30 kills on a .397 clip to go along with 10 digs and six blocks. Alohi Robins-Hardy contributed team-highs in digs (15) and assists (37). Amy Boswell and Whitney Young, the top blockers in the nation, led BYU with seven blocks apiece. Alexa Gray additionally contributed double-digit kills for the Cougars with 12.
BYU (28-4) got the first point of set one with a Florida State (30-3) hitting error. The teams traded points from there until a 6-1 run put the Seminoles up 6-2, forcing an Olmstead timeout. Following the break the Cougars rallied to score a trio of points, including a pair of Boswell blocks, to bring BYU within one at 6-5. The teams traded points from there with a Gray kill tying the match again at 10 apiece. The Cougars later used a 10-2 run, capped off by a Tambre Nobles kill, to go up 22-14 in the set. Young finished off the set with a kill to give her team the 25-20 win.
BYU took an early 3-1 advantage in the second set with a Hamson kill. Florida State rallied, however, to take an 8-7 lead after a Cougar attack error. The scores went back-and-forth until BYU was able to go up by two at 14-12 after another Hamson kill. A Nobles service ace put the Cougars up by five at 18-13, but the Seminoles rallied to come back within two at 18-16 after a Katie Horton kill. BYU countered with a 5-2 run to go back up 23-18, forcing a Florida State timeout. A Nobles kill ended the set at 25-19 to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead at the break.
The Seminoles started the third set with a service error, putting BYU up 1-0 early on. The Cougars stayed ahead 5-2 but Florida State rallied to tie the set 11-all following a Seminole kill. A 3-1 BYU run put the Cougars back up at 14-12, but Florida State stayed in the set, trailing 15-14 at the media timeout. The Seminoles scored three-straight after the break, capped off by a service ace, to go up for the first time in the set 17-15, forcing a BYU timeout. Amidst a 7-2 Florida State run, the Seminoles were able to take a four-point advantage at 21-17. A Young kill forced a second set point, but it proved to be too little too late as Florida State forced a fourth set, winning the third 25-19.
The Seminoles took a 6-2 lead to start the fourth set, taking advantage of some early Cougar miscues. With Florida State up 11-5 BYU went on a 4-0 run, capped off by a Robins-Hardy ace, to bring the Cougars back within two at 11-9. The Seminoles then countered with a 5-2 rally to go back up five at 16-11, forcing BYU to take a timeout. A Hamson kill and block and blocks from Cosy Burnett and Boswell brought the Cougars back within a pair at 16-14.
With BYU back down four at 20-16, three-straight points brought the Cougars back within a point at 20-19. Florida State had a 23-20 lead, but BYU went on a 6-1 run to close out the set and match 26-24 with a Hamson kill.
The Cougars return to the University of Washington Saturday at 8:30 p.m. PST on ESPNU when they face off against No. 14 Nebraska. Links to live stats and a video feed can be found on the BYU women's volleyball schedule page.