Roni Jones-Perry and No. 9 BYU women's volleyball won the BYU Nike Invitational after sweeping Wichita State (25-16, 25-12, 25-20) on Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"I loved the way we came out focused tonight," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "We had a good game plan put together by our assistants and the team executed. I'm proud of the way the team played, particularly Roni. She was unstoppable. Lyndie was great all weekend, and I'm proud of the way she ran the offense."
Jones-Perry led BYU with 16 kills, hitting at a .682 clip. McKenna Miller added 12 kills, while Lyndie Haddock-Eppich contributed 29 assists and 12 digs, making this her second double-double of the invitational. Mary Lake led the Cougars in digs with 13.
Jones-Perry, Haddock-Eppich and Lake made the all-tournament team, while Jones-Perry was named Most Valuable Player.
BYU (5-0) and Wichita State (4-2) keep it close in set one. The Cougars grabbed the lead early with two kills by Kennedy Eschenberg to bring the score to 5-2. Wichita State defended BYU, but kills from Madelyn Robinson, Haddock-Eppich and Jones-Perry helped their team keep the lead at 10-7. The Shockers battled back and brought the score within one point, but a kill from Robinson and a block by Heather Gneiting and Miller helped increase the lead back to 12-10. Wichita State managed to stay within three points during the set before tying it up for the first time at 15-15, forcing BYU to call a timeout. The Cougars came out swinging and went on an 8-1 run to grab the win at 25-16 off a kill from Jones-Perry.
Going into set two, the two teams kept it close at the start with things knotted up at 3-3. The Cougars then took a 3-0 run with two kills from Miller and an ace from Sydnie Martindale. Gneiting helped BYU with a kill and a block to make it 12-7. Wichita State had two service aces to bring it within two at 12-10. Kills from Robinson and three back-to-back blocks from Eschenberg, Jones-Perry and Robinson aided the Cougars on an 11-0 run to increase the advantage to 12, 23-11. A kill by Robinson took it to set point, and BYU won set two at 25-12 on a Wichita State service error.
Jones-Perry started off set three with a kill, and an additional kill by Miller brought the score to 3-1, which gave the Cougars an early lead. Wichita State tied it up at 4-4 and took an advantage at 7-5. A service ace by Miller helped the Cougars even it out at 7-7. Wichita State surged ahead, and BYU battled to keep it within one point until the Cougars gained the lead again at 14-13. With Martindale serving, the Cougars had a 6-0 run with an ace, kills by Jones-Perry and Miller and a block by Gneiting and Miller to make it 19-14. Wichita State came back, which resulted in BYU calling a timeout at 21-19. The Cougars clinched set three and the match with a kill by Taylen Ballard on the outside, leaving set three at 25-20.
BYU faces USC in the first match of the Marquette Tournament on Friday, Sept. 7, at 10 a.m. EDT.
Stanford vs. Wichita State
No. 1 Stanford swept Wichita State in the fourth match of the BYU Nike Invitational on Saturday afternoon (25-20, 25-20, 29-27).
In the first set, Stanford took an early lead at 5-1 racking up three kills. However, Wichita State came back to tie the score up at 10-10. After the teams went back and forth scoring a point apiece, the Cardinal regained the lead at 17-14. Stanford maintained the advantage until scoring set point at 25-20. The Cardinal took another early lead in the second set with a 5-1 run, including a block on the fifth point. The Shockers came back after a long lead by Stanford to tie up the match at 17-17. The Cardinal kept Wichita State from gaining the lead, though, and took the set at 25-20. Unlike the first two sets, the Shockers took the first lead at 2-1 in the third set and kept it until Stanford took its first advantage off a block at 12-11. The score stayed close, getting to 27-27, until the Cardinal came out on top at 29-27, taking the set and match.
Audriana Fitzmorris led Stanford with 13 kills, while Kathryn Plummer followed closely with 12. Jenna Gray contributed 47 assists, and Morgan Hentz led Stanford’s defense with 19 digs.
West Virginia vs. Stanford
In the second match on Saturday, West Virginia faced off against No. 1 Stanford. The Cardinal swept the Mountaineers in three sets (25-9, 25-9, 25-12).
Kathryn Plummer and Audrianna Fitzmore led the way for the Cardinal in the first set with five and four kills, respectively. Jenna Gray also made an impact with nine assists and four digs in the first set.2 comments on this story
Stanford jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set and led 20-5 at one point, eventually winning it 25-9. Gray got up to 19 assists after the second and finished the night with 33. Meghan McClure started making an impact in the second set with seven kills and seven digs.
The third set was a closer contest, with Stanford electing to sit many of its starters to give younger players experience. The Mountaineers brought the set within four, 10-6, but weren’t able to hold off the Cardinal as they ran away with the third and final set, 25-12.
McClure finished the match as the top scorer with 12 kills to lead the Cardinal to victory. Stanford’s Morgan Hentz was the only player with double-digit digs in the match with 10.