(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah — Sophomore outside hitter Lacy Haddock helped No. 13 BYU women's volleyball send Saint Mary’s home in three sets (25-20, 25-14, 25-10) Thursday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
“We wanted to get back to our game in terms of serving and passing and I thought we did that tonight,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “It was great to be back home. I thought the environment was great with good energy and our team feeds off of that. The girls were very focused as well, so it was awesome.”
The Cougars (15-2, 4-1 West Coast Conference) defeated the Gaels (8-9, 3-3 WCC) with a .412 hitting percentage. Haddock as well as McKenna Miller each finished the competition with 10 kills. Senior Amy Boswell chipped in seven kills, and sophomore Danelle Parady-Stetler had five. Lyndie Haddock had 24 assists and seven digs and Mary Lake added eight digs. The Cougars also had eight service aces, only one away from their season-high of nine.
The first set featured a back-and-forth battle between the Cougars and Gaels, with each team trading points and leads (seven ties and three lead changes). A kill by Miller and two aces by Lacy Haddock gave the Cougars momentum at the beginning of the set, but strong defense on the Gaels’ side not only kept them in the set but gave them a 16-12 advantage over the Cougars. BYU then went on a 7-1 run and found themselves with a 19-17 lead over SMC. The score remained close, but the Cougars maintained an edge over the Gaels until they ultimately took the first set, 25-20, on a Boswell and Haddock block.
The Cougars jumped to a 7-0 lead over the Saint Mary’s at the beginning of the second set and were able to maintain a comfortable advantage throughout. The Gaels began to put points on the board, but the Cougar edge was extended to 10 points, 11-1, on a Miller kill. The Gaels continued to struggle against a solid BYU defense that featured five digs from Parady-Stetler and two from senior Makenna Santiago. Six kills from Miller helped the Cougars to extend their lead to a set-high of 11 at 21-9. BYU kept a comfortable lead over Saint Mary's until it won the set, 25-14.
The beginning of the third set was much closer than the second, and Saint Mary’s was able to stick with the Cougars, trailing by a point at 6-5. BYU then went on a 6-1 run and jumped to a 12-6 advantage over the Gaels after a service ace and kill from Boswell and two kills from senior Whitney Young Howard. The Cougars continued to extend their lead over Saint Mary's and reached a double-digit advantage at 17-7 after a kill by Parady-Stetler. BYU continued its run with eight more points to the Gaels’ three, and the Cougars took the match at 25-10.
The Cougars remain in Provo this weekend and will take on the Pacific Tigers Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse at 1 p.m. MDT. The match is also Family Day. Entire families can enter with a $15 family pass. Pass of all Pass holders will get into the match for free. Additionally, there will be four hot dogs available for purchase for $4. There will also be free face painters, games, giveaways and prizes.