Junior outside hitter Veronica Jones-Perry led No. 10 BYU women’s volleyball to victory over Saint Mary’s in four sets (25-15, 25-18, 23-25, 25-18) Saturday afternoon at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"We had tough serving today," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "The team was really focused on serving our way and did a great job. Both Cosy (Burnett) and Kennedy (Redding) scored and blocked a bunch of balls, and I'm really proud of them. Everyone was ready to play and our energy was great. Dave (Hyte) and Jonny (Neeley) prepared the team well and the team executed."
Jones-Perry fueled the win with 24 kills, six digs and one service ace. Kennedy Redding contributed 10 kills and nine blocks, and Cosy Burnett had 11 kills, five blocks and four of the team’s seven service aces. Lyndie Haddock added eight digs, four blocks and 48 assists. Mary Lake had a match-high 22 digs in the win.
Five kills from Jones-Perry helped pace the Cougars (23-2, 12-1 West Coast Conference) to a 10-1 advantage in the first set. Saint Mary’s (7-17, 3-11 WCC) shortened the lead to six with a service ace to bring the score to 14-8. However, it didn’t prove to be enough as another kill from Jones-Perry brought the Cougars’ lead to double digits at 21-11. A final kill from Jones-Perry secured the set for BYU, 25-15.
The Gaels and Cougars traded blows in the second set, with neither securing more than a two-point edge. Back-to-back aces from Burnett brought BYU to an 8-6 lead. Two Jones-Perry kills secured the Cougars a 13-10 advantage, the largest lead in the set thus far. BYU maintained the lead the rest of the set, and a block by Jones-Perry and Redding ended set two, 25-18.
The Gaels took an early lead in the third set with a 5-0 run. The Cougars fired back with a 5-0 run of their own, going up 12-10. Both teams traded blows, tying the game six times before Burnett’s back-to-back aces gave the Cougars a 20-17 advantage. After tying it back up three more times, the Gaels pulled away at the end to take the set, 25-23.
A 4-0 run and back-to-back kills by Jones-Perry gave BYU an early 5-3 lead in the fourth set. The Cougars followed soon after with another 4-0 run, with kills by Danelle Stetler and Burnett. A kill by Redding ended the Cougars’ third 4-0 run, giving them a 17-9 advantage. A Burnett kill sealed the set, 25-18, to give BYU its 12th win in league play.
The Cougars head to Spokane, Washington, next to face Gonzaga on Thursday evening. A link to live stats and a video stream 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.