Gray’s all-around play lifts BYU over Gonzaga

Sophomore Alexa Gray tallied 17 kills and eight digs in a win over Gonzaga. (Photo by Marcos Escalona/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah -- On the heels of sophomore Alexa Gray’s 17 kills and eight digs, No. 24 BYU women’s volleyball swept Gonzaga (25-19, 25-23, 25-22) en route to their fourteenth conference win Thursday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
 
“I’m really happy with the win,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Gonzaga’s a really good team. I’m excited with how we maintained our composure. We lost it a little and gave up leads, but we were able to successfully respond.” 
 
For the match, Alexa Gray tied her career-high for digs while Kathryn LeCheminant added four blocks and Camry Godfrey and Amy Boswell contributed three blocks apiece. Tambre Haddock added 10 kills and a career-high four service aces. 
 
“I’m really happy with what Alexa did,” Olmstead said in reference to playing without defensive specialist Ciara Parker. “The team responded well since we’re used to having two defensive specialists on the back row.”
 
In the first set, BYU (21-5, 14-2 West Coast Conference) jumped out to a 4-0 lead but Gonzaga (11-13, 7-8 WCC) eventually rallied, cutting the score to 12-11. The Cougars countered, capitalizing on a Bulldog attack error, followed by a service ace by Haddock and a block by Godfrey and LeCheminant. BYU clinched the set behind Gray’s five kills and LeCheminant’s two blocks in addition to a -.032 hitting percentage for Gonzaga.
 
The second set began a little differently with the scoring going back and forth through 15-15. Gray scored six of BYU's first 10 points in the set.  After the media timeout, BYU added two points on a Godfrey kill and Haddock service ace. BYU continued pushing and extended the lead to 20-17 on a block by Whitney Young and Gray, causing Gonzaga to call a timeout. The Bulldogs answered and cut the lead to 20-19 forcing a BYU timeout. 
 
BYU then took three of the next four points, pushing the lead to 23-20. Gonzaga countered as they took three out of the next four points. Olmstead called a timeout with the BYU lead at 24-23. Senior LeCheminant substituted back into the match to finish the job for the Cougars. LeCheminant drilled the ball down the line on the left side for the set-clinching kill.
 
In the final set, BYU began the scoring with Haddock’s fourth service ace by. The Cougars built a solid 13-7 lead behind three team blocks and 4-0 run. Gonzaga then assembled a 4-0 run of their own as they continued to claw back in tie the set at 17-17. The teams then exchanged points to put the game at 23-22. BYU finished the match on two kills, one from Hannah Robison and one from Gray, bringing her total to 16.
 
BYU wraps up its regular season home schedule when they face Portland on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 11:00 a.m. MST. The match is senior day and admission is free to the public.
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