(Photo by BYU Photo)
SAN DIEGO – Balanced play pushed No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball to a four-set win (25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18) over league rival No. 17 San Diego Saturday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
“I'm really proud of how focused the team was coming into this match,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “Dave (Hyte) and Jonny (Neeley) did a great job of preparing the team and the girls went out and executed. I could talk about every single player and specifically what they did well, but the best way to describe it is a team win. Our blocking was dialed in and we played scrappy defense behind the block. Offensively, we had one of our best matches, and I'm proud of the smart swings everyone took.”
McKenna Miller led the Cougars with 14 kills while Veronica Jones-Perry, Cosy Burnett and Taylen Ballard added 13, 11 and nine kills, respectively. Lyndie Haddock set the team with 42 assists while Mary Lake collected 15 digs to lead the team. Kennedy Redding had seven blocks and Tristyn Moser had a career-high 11 digs.
BYU (15-1, 4-0 West Coast Conference) out-blocked San Diego (10-4, 3-1 WCC) 12.0 to 4.0. With the win, the Cougars remain tied at the top of the conference standings with Gonzaga.
San Diego used a 4-1 run to take a 6-4 lead in the first set against BYU. The Cougars countered with a 5-1 run, which included three-straight Torero attack errors, to go up 9-7. The set remained close as a 5-1 San Diego rally pulled it ahead 14-12. A Ballard and Burnett block evened the score at 19-all, and a kill and block from Miller gave BYU a 23-21 lead. Another pair of Miller kills then gave the Cougars the close set 25-23.
BYU took a 3-0 lead early in the second set after a block and kill from Redding. The Toreros scored the next five points to take a 5-3 advantage, but a Moser ace capped off a 4-1 Cougar run to put her team back up 7-6. A Haddock kill pulled BYU ahead by three, 12-9, but a 5-1 San Diego run ensued to put it up 14-13. The Toreros inched ahead at 19-17, but back-to-back Redding blocks tied the set at 21 apiece. San Diego scored the next two points, however, eventually winning the set 25-23 on a kill.
The Cougars were up 4-2 to start the third set, but the Toreros scored the next three points to take a 5-4 edge. Several attack errors pushed BYU up by four, 11-7, forcing a San Diego timeout. The teams traded points until a reversed call brought the Toreros back within two, down 15-13. A pair of kills from Miller and one from Ballard then extended the Cougar lead to five at 19-14. A Burnett kill gave BYU set point, and a Haddock kill ended the set 25-20.
Jones-Perry got the first two points of the fourth set on kills. San Diego then scored five of seven points to go up 6-5. A pair of Ballard kills helped the Cougars retake the lead at 12-10, and a Miller kill made it 18-14. BYU closed out the set on a 6-2 run, winning the match 25-18 on a Burnett kill.
The Cougars stay on the road next, traveling to Saint Mary’s Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. PDT. 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.