(Photo by Marcos Escalona/ BYU Photo)
MALIBU, Calif. – Sophomore Alexa Gray led the BYU women’s volleyball team to a four-set (25-20, 25-21, 16-25, 25-16) victory over conference foe Pepperdine Thursday night to remain undefeated in league play.
“I was proud of the heart and fight we showed at times tonight,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I thought it was a team effort in a lot of ways.”
Gray had 17 kills on 47 attempts to hit .277 in the win. Sophomore Camry Godfrey added 42 assists, while libero Ciara Parker contributed a season high 26 digs, the most from a BYU player this season. Senior Jessica Jardine led the team on defense with five blocks. Junior Tambre Haddock recorded her 10th career double-double with 15 kills and 15 digs.
Freshman Amy Boswell gave the Cougars (11-3, 4-0 WCC) their first two points of the set with a pair of kills. The Waves (8-5, 2-3 WCC) were forced to take a timeout after BYU forced two consecutive attack errors to take a 9-4 lead. Pepperdine kept things close with a set of blocks that rallied the Waves within three, 15-12. Gray kept the Cougars on top on a kill and a 20-17 lead. Minutes later a BYU block won the set for the visitors 25-20. Senior Kathryn LeCheminant led the way in the first set, hitting five of six attacks for a .833 clip.
Both teams traded points early on in the second set, as neither squad managed to take a multiple point lead at 6-6. Pepperdine then went up four points from a Cougar attack error, 14-10. BYU came storming back with a 5-0 run, led by two Gray kills, to take a 16-15 lead. The Waves refused to give up as they rallied to tie the set 20-20. Pepperdine’s comeback proved to be short-lived as the Cougars took a two-set advantage, winning 25-21.
The Waves took an early 5-3 advantage to start things off in the third set from an Emma Fuzie block. BYU fought to keep the score close as a LeCheminant kill put the Cougars within a point at 13-12. Coach Olmstead called his first timeout of the set after a 6-1 Pepperdine run put the Waves ahead 18-13. Pepperdine continued to perform well through the rest of the set, winning 25-16.
BYU took control in the fourth set, taking an 8-4 lead from a LeCheminant kill. Haddock extended the Cougar lead 13-8 with a strong kill to the right outside corner. The Waves trailed by seven points until a 4-1 run put Pepperdine within four at 19-15. Gray closed out the set and match with a kill, 25-16.
BYU continues road conference play on Saturday in Los Angeles against the Loyola Marymount Lions. Links to live stats can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.