BYU-Hawaii rips West Texas A&M, faces 5-time champion Concordia-St. Paul in semifinals

Courtesy BYU-Hawaii Sports Information

Stella Chen PENSACOLA, Fla. – All-American outside hitter Stella Chen (right photo) hammered 20 kills, hit .389, and came up with 19 digs to lead the Brigham Young University Hawaii women's volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep of West Texas A&M on Thursday, Dec. 6, in the NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball National Quarterfinals in Pensacola, Fla.

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All-American setter Michelle Chen played an outstanding match as well, putting up 46 assists, serving both of the teams aces, and getting 10 digs as the Seasiders advanced to Friday's semifinals where they will face five-time defending champion Concordia-St. Paul (5 p.m. CST).

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BYU-Hawaii lost to Concordia-St. Paul in a season-opening tournament by a deceiving 3-0 score.

The Seasiders, who are now 25-3 on the season and tied for fifth in the AVCA Division II National Coaches Poll, started slowly as West Texas A&M jumped out to an 8-6 lead in the opening set.

The Seasiders used a four-point run to overtake the Lady Buffs and didn't trail again despite never quite being able to pull away.

BYU-Hawaii Volleyball After giving up the first two points of the second set, BYU-Hawaii scored six straight points - two of them on kills by senior Lauren Hagemeyer - and pulled away for the win to go up 2-0.

BYU-Hawaii dominated the third set, scoring the first five points to put the Lady Buffs in a deep hole.

West Texas A&M rallied briefly to within two points at 9-7, but it was all BYU-Hawaii the rest of the way.

The Seasiders dominated the match statistically, hitting .302 to just .142 for the Lady Buffs.

BYU-Hawaii knocked down 53 kills to just 29 for West Texas A&M, and the Seasiders won the dig battle 55-37.

The battle of the blocks also went the Seasiders' way by an 11-8 margin.

Hagemeyer powered 11 kills and Tuli Tevaga added 10 for BYU-Hawaii.

Ariel Hsu notched eight kills and three blocks, while Courtney Skaggs knocked down just two kills in four attacks but played a huge part for BYU-Hawaii at the net with her eight blocks.

Tevaga recorded five blocks and Hagemeyer posted four for the Seasiders.

Stella Chen, Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu and Tevaga each knocked down eight and Skaggs added six for BYU-Hawaii.

Lauren Hagemeyer Sophomore setter Michelle Chen, the Daktronics Regional Player of the Year, set for 37 assists and Tevaga came up with 12 digs.

Hsu, Skaggs, and Stella Chen each put up three blocks in the match and Michelle Chen served both of BYU-Hawaii's aces in the match.

Junior libero Melanie Manutai notched eight digs in the win.

Kameryn Hayes had 11 kills to lead West Texas A&M, which finished the year 33-5; however, Hayes had eight of her kills in the first set while hitting .636.

After Head Coach Wilfred Navalta made adjustments to the BYU-Hawaii defense, Hayes had just three kills over the final two sets and hit .000.

Lauren Beville had 11 digs for the Lady Buffs in the loss.BYU-Hawaii will play top-ranked Concordia-St. Paul (31-4) tomorrow at 5:00 pm CST.