(Photo by BYU Photo)
HONOLULU – Junior outside hitter Veronica Jones-Perry led No. 10 BYU women’s volleyball to a five-set victory (25-18, 25-12, 16-25, 15-25, 15-7) over Hawai’i Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center to open up play in the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge.
“Our outsides were excellent tonight,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “We also had others make big plays at important times which made tonight's win a total team effort. It was awesome to play in front of such a great crowd who loves volleyball.”
Jones-Perry led the Cougars with a career-high 27 kills and seven digs. Lyndie Haddock set the team with 44 assists to go with 10 digs for a double-double while Mary Lake had 17 digs. Cosy Burnett contributed five blocks to go with a season-high 11 kills and McKenna Miller collected a season-high 19 kills in the win.
BYU (7-0) took a 3-1 lead in the decisive fifth set after a Burnett kill. A Kennedy Redding and Haddock block extended the Cougar advantage to four at 8-4. A pair of Redding kills made it 13-6 before a Jones-Perry kill ended the set and match 15-7.
Hawai’i (2-5) got off to a 6-4 lead in the first set against BYU after a strong offensive attack. Five-straight kills from Jones-Perry put the Cougars up 12-7, forcing a timeout from the Rainbow Wahine. Another three-straight kills from Jones-Perry extended the BYU lead to nine at 17-8, and a Burnett kill gave the Cougars a double-digit advantage at 20-10. Hawai’i rallied near the end of the set, but it proved too late as BYU took it 25-18 after two more kills from Jones-Perry.
The Rainbow Wahine led 5-3 early in the second set, but the Cougars used a 7-1 run to take a 10-6 advantage. A pair of Burnett blocks and three more kills from Jones-Perry helped fuel an 11-0 BYU rally, extending the lead to 13 at 21-8. A kill from Miller then ended the set for the Cougars 25-12.
Hawai’i once again got off to a strong start in the third set, leading 6-2. Three kills from Miller kept BYU in the set, trailing 8-5. The Cougars got within two, down 9-7, but the Rainbow Wahine stayed ahead scoring the next six-straight points to make it 15-7. A trio of Jones-Perry kills late in the set kept BYU in the mix, but it wasn’t enough as Hawai’i won the set 25-16 on a Cougar attack error.
The Rainbow Wahine took a 4-1 edge at the beginning of the fourth set and maintained their lead at 12-8 after a kill. A Burnett and Haddock block brought BYU back within two, trailing 13-11, but Hawai’i scored six of the next seven points to go up 19-12. The Rainbow Wahine then ended the set on a 6-1 run to force the decisive fifth set with a 25-15 set four win.
The Cougars return to the Stan Sheriff Center Friday, Sept. 8, at 4:45 p.m. HST, facing Nevada in a neutral-site match. Links to live stats for the match can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.