Strong defensive play helped propel No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball to a straight-set win (25-15, 25-13, 25-21) over Gonzaga on Thursday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
"Offensively, we had a great match tonight," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "Lyndie (Haddock) did a good job of distributing the offense and we took smart swings. We served tough and played scrappy defense behind the block. We're looking forward to using this match to keep getting better."
Veronica Jones-Perry led the Cougars with 16 kills to go with seven digs and three aces. Lyndie Haddock set the team with 33 assists to go along with nine digs, while Mary Lake collected 16 digs. Cosy Burnett helped out in the defensive effort with a team-high three blocks, and Lacy Haddock contributed seven kills on a .467 clip and five digs in the win.
The Cougars (24-2, 13-1 West Coast Conference) hit at a .317 clip while holding the Bulldogs (13-13, 8-6 WCC) to just a .124 hitting percentage.
An ace from Lake put BYU ahead of Gonzaga, 4-2, early in the first set. A pair of kills from Jones-Perry helped the Cougars on an 8-1 run to extend the lead to seven, 10-3, forcing a Bulldog timeout. BYU maintained its lead at 16-7 following consecutive McKenna Miller kills. A Jones-Perry ace pushed the Cougars ahead by double digits, 22-12, and another Miller kill ended the set, 25-15.
Gonzaga went up 3-0 to begin the second set after a pair of BYU attack errors. The Cougars countered with an impressive 12-0 rally, which included three more kills from Jones-Perry and three from Lacy Haddock, to take a 12-3 advantage. Two errors from the Bulldogs pushed BYU ahead by 12, 20-8, before another Gonzaga error gave the Cougars the set, 25-13.
The Bulldogs took a 6-3 advantage to start the third set. Gonzaga maintained its lead until an overpass kill from Lacy Haddock evened the score at 8-all. A Burnett and Lyndie Haddock block knotted up the score at 13 apiece before a Lacy Haddock and Kennedy Redding block put BYU ahead with a 17-16 edge. A 5-1 Cougar run helped extend the lead to four, 22-18, and a Miller kill ended the set and match, 25-21.
The Cougars stay on the road for their final regular-season match away from home, facing Portland on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. PST, at the Chiles Center. The match will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Links to the 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.