(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – Blue tied White in four sets (22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 18-25) as BYU women’s volleyball kicked off the season with its annual preseason scrimmage Saturday afternoon at the Smith Fieldhouse.
“I think this team has great energy,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “I loved seeing the girls’ competitive effort here today. It was great. All of the sets were pretty competitive. It was good to see some of the kids stepping up.”
McKenna Miller and Veronica Jones-Perry led all players with 19 kills apiece. Lacy Haddock chipped in 11 kills, an ace and a block while Cosy Burnett contributed a team-high seven blocks and five kills. Emily Lewis had 11 kills and four blocks while Madeline Graham had 12 kills and two blocks. Additionally, Danelle Stetler had 10 kills and Mary Lake had a match-high four aces on the day. Lyndie Haddock and Alohi Robins-Hardy each had 43 assists.
The White squad took a 5-2 lead in the first set after back-to-back Jones-Perry and Burnett blocks. The White team extended its advantage to seven at 12-5, following a Lacy Haddock kill, before a pair of Miller kills brought the Blue team back within a pair, trailing 14-12. A Taylen Ballard kill evened the set up at 19 apiece, but the White squad rallied back to eventually take the set 25-22 on a kill from Jones-Perry.
Team Blue took a 6-3 lead to start the second set after a Miller ace. The White team rallied to take the lead, 8-7, after a Sara Hamson solo block. Team White lead by as many as four at 17-13 before seven-straight points from the Blue squad, including two Lake aces, gave it a 20-17 lead. Graham collected consecutive kills to keep the Blue team ahead 23-20 before winning the set 25-22 on a Miller kill.
Another Graham kill gave the Blue team an 8-4 advantage at the beginning of the third set, forcing a Team White timeout. The White team then rallied, going on a 7-1 run to take a 14-11 lead. Team White remained ahead as another Lake ace extended her squad’s advantage to four, 20-16. The Blue team then went on an 8-1 rally to retake the lead 24-21. A Stetler kill ended the set for Team Blue, 25-21.
The White team opened up the fourth set with a 6-2 lead with help from a trio of Miller kills. Team White maintained its advantage at 14-7 following another kill by Miller. The Blue squad went on a roll from there, going on a 7-1 run to get within a point, trailing 15-14. Team White countered, however, scoring seven of the next eight points to extend its lead at 22-15. The White team then won the set 25-18 on a Miller kill to even the match at two sets apiece.
The Cougars officially begin the season Friday, August 25, at noon MDT, hosting Saint Louis in the BYU Invitational. The match will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Links to live stats and the video stream can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.