The women’s volleyball team lost to the number-one-ranked BYU Cougars (19-0) on Thursday in straight sets, 25-23, 25-15, 25-20, moving the Lions to 15-5 on the season and 5-4 in the WCC.
The Lions’ 0-3 defeat at BYU’s Smith Fieldhouse is their second straight loss after falling 0-3 to Pepperdine on Saturday.
A major cause of the Lions’ loss was errors committed, as LMU committed 24 total errors to BYU’s nine. These errors contributed to LMU’s low hitting percentage of .175 compared to BYU’s strong .292.
BYU also outplayed the team in blocks, of which they had eight to LMU’s four, as well as aces, of which the Lions recorded none to BYU’s four.
Despite their defeat, the Lions outscored the Cougars in kills (44 to 37), assists (41 to 31) and digs (43 to 33).
While LMU could not overcome the dominant Cougars, the Lions had a number of players lead the match in the major statistical categories. Junior setter Tess Reid led the match with 38 assists, while senior defensive specialist Kekai Whitford led the match with 14 total digs. Senior opposite Sara Kovac had a match-high 16 kills as well.
“[BYU] is a fun team to play,” said head coach Aaron Mansfield, responding to the defeat. “They have a very distinct home court advantage at BYU. It’s a tough place to play but it was a good challenge for our team,” he said.
As for how the Lions proceed onto their next matches, Mansfield said, “We’ll talk on Monday as a group as to what we want to get better at [and] where we’re deficient in some statistical categories. We try to look at it as just trying to get better at those things during the week.”
For their next match, the Lions will travel to San Diego where they will face the 10-9 USD Tritons on Saturday, Oct. 20.
“There’s a couple of things [San Diego] does that are pretty unique and we want to make sure that we’re ready for that from a defensive and offensive standpoint,” said Mansfield. “You have to play pretty clean volleyball in order to beat them but it’s something that we’re definitely capable of.”
Following their match at San Diego on Oct. 20 at noon, the Lions will return home to face the San Francisco Dons (8-12) at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 25 at Gersten Pavilion.