A career high and BYU record 34 kills from junior outside hitter Veronica Jones-Perry pushed No. 8 BYU women’s volleyball to a five-set come-from-behind victory (21-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-12, 15-11) against Loyola Marymount on Saturday afternoon at Gersten Pavilion.
"I thought we made some nice adjustments after the second set," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "Our serving got tougher, our passing got better and we played some great defense. The one constant throughout the match was Roni (Jones-Perry). She took some big-time swings and brought great energy. I'm proud of the team for battling back. It's not easy to do on the road, but they were resilient."
Jones-Perry led the Cougars with her career-high 34 kills on a .441 clip to go with three aces and six digs. Her 34 kills were the most all-time in a match in BYU rally-scoring era history. Mary Lake contributed 16 digs, and Cosy Burnett had 10 blocks. Lyndie Haddock collected 50 assists, while McKenna Miller added 12 kills in the win.
Back-to-back kills from Burnett pushed BYU (21-1, 10-0 West Coast Conference) ahead 4-0 to begin the decisive fifth set. Loyola Marymount (12-9, 5-5 WCC) came back within two, down 7-5, but a kill and block from Burnett made it 13-9 for the Cougars. Another kill from Burnett ended the set and match, 15-11, against the Lions.
Loyola Marymount jumped out to a 5-1 lead against BYU in the first set after back-to-back-to-back service aces. Jones-Perry responded for the Cougars with four-straight kills on four attempts to even the score at 5-5. The Lions pushed their way ahead to a four-point lead at 13-9 following a 4-1 run. Loyola Marymount stayed ahead at 19-13 after strong offensive play and eventually won the set, 25-21, on a kill.
An ace from Lake helped BYU take a 3-1 edge early in the second set. Two kills from Miller pushed the Cougars up by three, 9-6, but the Lions followed with a 4-1 run to go up 11-10. Another 4-0 Loyola Marymount rally made it 15-12, but a kill from Sara Hamson helped BYU get back within a point, down 19-18. The Lions, however, ended the set on a 4-1 run to win 25-22 on an ace.
The Cougars went up 5-1 in the third set after consecutive blocks. A kill from Lacy Haddock extended the lead to seven at 12-5. Loyola Marymount came back within three, down 13-9, but another pair of Jones-Perry kills helped BYU go up 18-10 after a 4-0 run. Three-straight points from the Lions brought them back within six, down 23-17, forcing Olmstead to take a timeout. The Cougars then won the set, 25-18, on a Loyola Marymount attack error.
A pair of Lyndie Haddock and Burnett blocks gave BYU an 8-2 start to the fourth set. Three more blocks put the Cougars up by double digits at 13-3. The Lions responded with a 5-1 run to get within six, trailing 15-9. A Lacy Haddock kill then re-extended the advantage to 10 at 20-10. A Lyndie Haddock dump kill gave BYU the 25-12 set win, sending the match to the decisive fifth set.
The Cougars return home to the Smith Fieldhouse next, facing No. 18 San Diego on Friday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. MDT. The match will be televised live nationally on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143. Links to a video stream and live stats 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.