(Photo by BYU Photo)
MORAGA, Calif. – Freshman outside hitter McKenna Miller helped No. 14 BYU women’s volleyball sweep Saint Mary’s (25-21, 25-19, 25-23) Saturday at the McKeon Pavilion.
“Our coaches had the team prepared for a good Saint Mary's team who played well,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “We responded positively to the challenge today.”
Miller finished the match with 12 kills and three digs while sophomore Lacey Haddock contributed 10 kills. Sophomore Veronica Jones-Perry recorded nine kills and led BYU (22-3, 11-2 WCC) with six blocks while senior Amy Boswell added seven kills and four blocks. Senior Whitney Young Howard picked up six kills and five blocks and sophomore Lyndie Haddock added a team-high nine digs.
The Gaels (10-15, 5-9 WCC) jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the first set before Howard recorded a kill to spark a 4-0 BYU run to tie the match. The Cougars battled to keep the score close and Boswell’s first kill of the match gave BYU an 8-7 lead. The Cougars continued the offensive pressure with a 4-0 run to go ahead 12-8 but Saint Mary’s responded with a 4-0 run of their own to tie the score at 12-12. Following a timeout, the teams traded points before the Cougars put together a 5-2 run to take a 23-18 lead. BYU held on to win the set 25-21 with Boswell sealing the first set with an ace.
In the second set, Haddock scored the first three BYU points to help the Cougars to an early 4-2 lead. Saint Mary’s stayed close and tied the score, 6-6, before a block from Haddock helped BYU retake the lead. The Cougars built an 11-8 lead forcing the Gaels to burn their first timeout of the set. Out of the break, BYU extended the lead to five with a 15-10 advantage. The Gaels cut the lead to two, falling behind 20-18, before Miller recorded her 10th kill of the match to keep BYU in control. The Cougars held on to win the set 25-19 and Boswell and Jones-Perry combined at the net for the winning block to seal the second set.
The Cougars and Gaels traded points to open the third set. With the score tied at six, Howard blasted a kill to help BYU build a 3-1 run and a 9-7 lead. The Gaels fought back to tie the score 9-9 but a 7-3 BYU run gave the Cougars a fresh 16-12 advantage. Following a timeout, the Gaels put together a 5-2 run to pull within one of the Cougars, trailing 18-17. A kill by Haddock sparked a 3-1 BYU run and the Gaels were forced to take their final timeout with the Cougars leading 21-17. The Gaels battled off three match points, but a kill by Boswell helped BYU complete the sweep with a 25-23 victory.
BYU returns home to face Gonzaga on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. MST followed by a Saturday home match against Portland at 1 p.m.