Senior middle blocker Amy Boswell helped No. 11 BYU women’s volleyball sail past Pepperdine in four sets (22-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-21) Tuesday night at the Firestone Fieldhouse.
"I'm really happy with the total team effort tonight," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "Everybody contributed and played well down the stretch for us."
Boswell led the Cougars with 12 kills while hitting on a .455 clip and adding a match-high seven blocks. Alohi Robins-Hardy set the team with 23 assists while Mary Lake contributed 15 digs. Hannah Robison chipped in a season-high 13 digs, and McKenna Miller had 16 kills to lead the team in the win.
BYU (14-1, 3-0 West Coast Conference) got the first point of the first set against Pepperdine (6-8, 0-2 WCC) with an ace from Lake. The Waves, however, rattled off the next five of six points to take a 5-2 advantage. Pepperdine stayed ahead by as many as four at 10-6 before a Miller kill and Whitney Young Howard block kept the Cougars within two, down 10-8. The teams remained close from there until a 4-2 rally from the Waves put them back ahead at 16-12. BYU struggled to retake the lead with Pepperdine up 20-16, but a 3-1 Cougar run brought them back within a pair, down 21-19. The late rally proved too little for BYU as the Waves took the set 25-22 on a kill.
Pepperdine kept its momentum going into the second set, taking a 3-1 lead to start things off. BYU kept in the set, though, down just one at 7-6 after a Boswell kill. A trio of kills and a block from Miller then tied the set at 10-all. The Cougars were down 14-12 before a 5-1 run, capped off by a Danelle Parady-Stetler ace, gave BYU a 17-15 advantage. The Cougars were ahead then by three at 19-16, but the Waves took the next three-consecutive points to knot the score back at 19. The teams remained neck-to-neck until BYU took the set on a Howard kill, 25-23.
Pepperdine once again started the third set with a 3-1 advantage, but a pair of aces from Robins-Hardy helped give the Cougars a 5-3 edge. Four-straight errors from the Waves quickly gave BYU an 11-7 lead. Back-to-back Robison aces put the Cougars up 15-8, forcing Pepperdine to take its final timeout of the set. BYU remained ahead by six points at 19-13 following a cross-court kill from Miller. A ball-handling error from the Waves then ended the set for the Cougars, 25-18.
The fourth set started close with neither team going ahead by two until an unforced Pepperdine error put BYU up 10-8. A Robison and Miller block kept the Cougars ahead 14-13 in the close set. Another BYU block extended its lead at 18-15, and a Boswell ace pushed the lead to four at 22-18. Miller then ended the set and match, 25-21, for the Cougars with a kill.
The Cougars stay on the road Friday, Sept. 30, when they face off against No. 6 San Diego at Jenny Craig Pavilion at 7 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed live on TheW.tv. 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.