(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – Veronica Jones-Perry had 12 kills and four blocks as BYU beat Saint Louis in straight sets (25-12, 26-24, 25-20) Friday in the BYU Nike Invitational at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"That was a fun match," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "I thought Saint Louis played great. I think our defense was strong. I liked our blocking, serving and some of the digs we got."
McKenna Miller and Lacy Haddock had eight and seven kills, respectively. Kennedy Redding led with seven blocks and Lyndie Haddock added five. BYU hit at a .291 clip compared to a .115 from Saint Louis.
The Cougars took the first set 25-12 on a .667 hitting percentage. BYU had a nice stretch after surrendering an early 6-5 Saint Louis lead. The Cougars got a few blocks from Cosy Burnett and a Jones-Perry ace to lead 11-7. After a couple Miller kills, BYU extended the lead to 14-8. A pair of hitting errors from the Billikens gave the Cougars a 19-10 lead and forced a Saint Louis timeout. Burnett's fourth block of the set gave BYU a 23-11 lead. An error from the Billikens closed out the set.
BYU had a slow start in the second set and trailed 7-4 before a kill from Lyndie Haddock. On the next point, Sydnie Martindale had a tough dig that turned into a Miller kill. Two points later, a Saint Louis error tied the set at 8-8. Redding had back-to-back blocks to give the Cougars a 10-8 lead. Mary Lake had two-straight aces to put BYU up 14-10 and force a timeout. The Billikens narrowed their deficit to 15-14, then later trailed 22-21 in the closest set of the match. Saint Louis had a service error but followed that with a kill and a Cougar error to knot things up at 23-23. Miller put it to set point with a kill, but the Billikens responded with a kill to make it 24-all. Lyndie Haddock took it to a second set point with a dump kill and a Saint Louis error gave BYU a 26-24 win.
The beginning of the third set went back and forth, and the Cougars eventually trailed 9-6. BYU gradually got back into it and tied things up at 12-12 after kills by Miller and Lacy Haddock. Jones-Perry gave the Cougars a 15-13 lead with consecutive kills. Lacy Haddock made it an 18-14 advantage with an ace. The Billikens answered with four-straight points for an 18-18 tie. BYU followed with five points in a row, via three Saint Louis errors and kills from Miller and Jones-Perry. A service error gave the Cougars a 24-20 match point, and a block from Redding sealed the match.
The Cougars return to action in the BYU Nike Invitational Friday night at 7:30 p.m. MDT agianst the Univeristy of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Ohio State vs. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
In the opening match of the BYU Nike Invitational on Friday morning, No. 21 The Ohio State defeated the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (25-17, 25-11, 25-15) to win its season opener.
In the first set, Ohio State hit at a .519 clip. The Buckeyes took an early 11-4 lead and maintained control throughout the rest of the match - keeping the Vaqueros in single digits for most of the second set. Early in the third set, the teams battled back and forth. Ohio State’s Taylor Hughes nail back-to-back aces to even the score 9-9 before the Buckeyes pulled away for the victory in the third and final set.
Ashley Wenz led Ohio State with 13 of the team’s 47 kills. Teammate Hannah Gruensfelder and UTRGV’s Gysell Zayas both led their teams with 14 digs apiece. Luisa Schirmer added 11 digs for the Buckeyes as well.