Cosy Burnett led No. 11 BYU women's volleyball to a sweep (25-13, 25-17, 25-22) over Chicago State in Los Angeles to begin the season.
"I liked our focus for the first match of the year," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "It was fun to get out there and get the season started. I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings."
Burnett led the Cougars in kills with a career-high nine while adding two blocks and a career-high three service aces. She also had a career-high .421 clip. Camry Godfrey Willardson contributed a team-high 25 assists and six digs while Ciara Parker added six digs of her own to lead the team. On the block, Amy Boswell added a team-high three. Alexa Gray and Veronica Jones each added six kills in the win.
BYU (1-0) jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage on Chicago State (0-1) in the first set with the help of a pair of Burnett kills, forcing the Chicago State Cougars to take an early timeout. The BYU Cougars increased their lead to 9-1 after two aces from Burnett. Chicago State stayed in the set, however, going on a 5-1 run to get back within four, down 10-6. BYU then went on an impressive 10-0 run, capped off by a Whitney Young Howard kill, to go up 20-6. After some BYU Cougar substitutions, the Chicago State Cougars managed to get a few more points on the board before a Boswell kill ended the set for BYU, 25-13.
Chicago State started out the second set playing much closer to the BYU Cougars, tying the set at 6-all on a kill. A kill from the freshman Jones helped give BYU a three-point advantage at 9-6. The Chicago State Cougars stayed in the set, though, taking a 14-13 lead on a BYU Cougar attack error. With Boswell serving, BYU then went on a 6-0 rally to go back up 19-14. The BYU Cougars stayed in control from that point, taking the set 25-17 on a Chicago State error.
The third set began with the Chicago State Cougars taking a 5-3 lead after four kills from Arieta Vaimaona. BYU stayed strong at the serving line, retaking the lead 11-9 after a Willardson ace, forcing a Chicago State timeout. A Boswell kill kept the BYU Cougars ahead by five, 17-12, but the Chicago State Cougars followed with a 6-3 rally to come within two, down 20-18. Following a BYU timeout, Burnett collected her eighth kill of the evening for a new career high, while keeping her team in the lead, 22-20. The BYU Cougars kept the advantage to the end of the set, taking the match 25-22 on a Jones kill.
The Cougars return to action Saturday afternoon on the neutral USC court, facing No. 7 North Carolina at 12:30 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed live on the Pac-12 website. Links to live stats and the video feed can be found on the BYU women's volleyball schedule page.
Royce Hinton is the men's and women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.