(Photo by BYU Photo)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Freshman McKenna Miller helped rally No. 10 BYU women’s volleyball past Santa Clara in four sets (25-15, 15-25, 26-24, 25-12) Saturday afternoon at the Leavey Event Center.
“I thought we played a great match,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “When it was tight in the third set our team showed some grit and wanted it. I'm really proud of the team effort today.”
Miller led the Cougars with 16 kills to go along with three digs. Mary Lake collected 26 digs while Lyndie Haddock had 40 assists and 14 digs. Lake's 26 digs move her to 455 on the season, good to sixth-most all-time in a single season in BYU rally-scoring era history. Amy Boswell and Whitney Young Howard each led the team in blocks with six apiece and Boswell had 13 kills in the win.
BYU (26-3, 15-2 West Coast Conference) got the first point of the first set against Santa Clara (15-14, 6-11 WCC) with a block from Howard and Veronica Jones-Perry. The Cougars took a 6-3 lead on a Lacy Haddock kill and a Miller kill extended the lead to six at 11-5. A Howard kill kept BYU ahead 15-7, forcing a Bronco timeout. Another Miller kill made it 19-7, but Santa Clara scored the next four-straight points to cut the lead to eight, trailing 19-11. The Cougars rallied, however, to take the set 25-15 on Miller’s fifth kill of the set.
BYU took a 3-0 lead to start the second set after a pair of Miller kills and a Howard block. The Broncos stayed in the set, pulling ahead 9-7 after a 6-2 run. A Jones-Perry kill put the Cougars back on top at 12-11, but Santa Clara collected the next five points to take a 16-12 advantage. The Broncos maintained their lead from there, ending the set on a 7-0 run to win 25-15.
Santa Clara started the third set where it left off at the end of the second, taking a 5-1 advantage. A 4-0 BYU run ensued, with help from an ace by Lake, to knot the score at 5-5. Another 4-0 Cougar rally then put them ahead 9-7, but a 6-1 Bronco spurt gave the home team a 15-12 lead. A pair of Miller kills helped tie the set at 15-all, and a pair of Lacy Haddock kills put BYU up 19-17. A Boswell kill gave BYU set point up 24-22, but Santa Clara scored two-straight points to even things up. A Lyndie Haddock dump kill once again gave the Cougars set point and a Howard kill ended the set 26-24.
Howard scored BYU’s first two points of the fourth set with kills. Boswell later scored on a slide kill to help her team take a 6-3 advantage. A Miller kill extended the Cougar lead to six at 11-5 before a Howard kill put them up by double digits at 16-6. Another Boswell kill ended a 4-1 rally, extending the lead to 12 at 22-10. Lyndie Haddock then ended the set and match 25-12 with a kill.
BYU stays on the road next, facing Loyola Marymount on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. PST. A win will give BYU at least a share of the WCC championship. The match will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Links to a video feed and live stats can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.