BYU women's volleyball junior outside hitter Veronica Jones-Perry helped Team Blue defeat Team Red in five sets (20-25, 26-24, 25-23, 24-26, 15-13) in the championship match of U.S. Colleigate Women's National Team play Friday night in Minneapolis.
Jones-Perry collected 19 kills, a block and an ace in her final match with Team USA. The win gave Team Blue (2-2) the CNT-Minneapolis tournament title while handing Team Red (2-1) its first loss of the tournament.
Team Blue took a 9-3 lead to begin the decisive fifth set, but Team Red scored the next four-straight points to get back within two, down 9-7. Jones-Perry ended the run with a kill, but Team Red evened things up at 13-all. Team Blue scored the final two points on kills to win the set and match 15-13.
Team Blue jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set after an ace, but Team Red rallied with a 5-1 run to go ahead 6-4. From there, both sides had multiple service errors. Jones-Perry had a kill to help her team get back within four, trailing 16-12, but it wasn't enough as Team Red took the set 25-20.
Team Red continued to play well to start set two, taking a 13-6 advantage on a Team Blue service error. Jones-Perry's team battled back, though, as she blocked a ball and two plays later had a forceful kill to get within four again, down 14-10. After trailing 24-20, excellent serving helped Team Blue come back and ultimately take the set in overtime, 26-24. Jones-Perry had seven kills in the set.
Team Blue came out strong in the third set, going up 13-9 at the first technical timeout. Team Red came back within two, 17-15, but Team Blue continued to serve well, taking a 20-16 advantage. Jones-Perry then collected the set-winning kill, helping her team to a 25-23 set victory.
Team Red led by as many as five points to start the fourth set before a Jones-Perry ace put Team Blue ahead 13-12. The teams continued to battle back-and-forth from there before Team Red ultimately took the close set 26-24 to send the match to the decisive fifth set.
Senior setter Alohi Robins-Hardy will next compete for Team USA in the Annual European Global Challenge from July 11-14 in Pula, Croatia.