PROVO, Utah – A career night from Cosy Burnett led No. 13 BYU women’s volleyball to a sweep (25-21, 25-16, 25-14) over Gonzaga at the Smith Fieldhouse Thursday night.
"I couldn't be prouder of the team the way the team came out with energy - they excuted and stayed together," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "They really played for each other. The defensive effort was excellent. Offensively, we got into a good rhythm. Camry did a really good job. She followed the game plan and led the team."
With the win, BYU (16-2, 6-1 West Coast Conference) increases its overall record against Gonzaga (12-8, 3-4 WCC) to 12-1, including its seventh-straight victory over the Bulldogs.
Alexa Gray led all players in kills with 21 and a season-high .545 clip. She also had three aces, which is a career high for the senior outside hitter. Burnett earned a career high in kills with 15 and in hitting percentage with a .636 clip. Camry Godfrey Willardson had 41 assists in the game and was a perfect six for six on attacks, which ties a career high for kills. Libero Ciara Parker led the defense with 14 digs while Amy Boswell had six blocks in the win.
The Cougars took the early 2-1 lead in the first set after an ace from Makenna Santiago. After trading sideouts, the Bulldogs went on a 5-1 run to go up 9-5. Two back-to-back kills from Whitney Young Howard and another from Burnett got BYU within two, 11-9. The Cougars were finally able to tie it up at 20-all after Gray nailed the ball with a deep cross for the kill. Santiago’s second ace of the night, and the fourth of the set, made it set point for BYU, 24-21. A kill right on the sideline for Gray won the first set, 25-21.
Burnett got things rolling in the second set for the Cougars with a kill in the first rally to go up 1-0. After a setter dump from Willardson, BYU went on a 4-0 run that included a BYU block and an ace from Gray to push its 7-3 lead. Gonzaga answered by putting itself within one before a kill from Burnett extended the lead back to 10-8. A 4-0 run, that had two BYU stuff blocks, extended the Cougars’ lead to 16-10. Burnett had three kills in a row to widen the distance from the Bulldogs, 23-16. With another kill from Gray, this time tooled off the Gonzaga block, BYU won the second set 25-16 to go up two sets to none.
A 6-0 run from the Cougars early in the third set got them the 7-2 lead behind two backrow kills and an ace from Gray. Boswell’s quick kill from the middle made it 13-8 before the Bulldogs earned a sideout on the next rally with a kill of their own. A stuff block from Howard extended the BYU lead to 16-10, but a well-placed tip from Gonzaga prevented another run. However, the Cougars eventually got a 4-0 rally to push the lead to 23-13 capped off by a rally saved multiple times by Parker flying all over the court. The sweep was completed after the Bulldogs missed their serve on match point, giving the Cougars the 25-14 win.
BYU returns to the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday to take on Portland at 1 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast live on TheW.tv. Live stats will be available on the schedule page.
PROVO, Utah – No. 13 BYU women’s volleyball returns home this week for a pair of matches against the Pacific Northwest conference schools, Gonzaga and Portland.
The Cougars (15-2, 5-1 West Coast Conference) won a come-from-behind thriller at Pacific last week before sweeping Saint Mary’s.
- BYU first faces off against Gonzaga (12-7, 3-3 WCC) Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. MDT.
- The Cougars lead the overall series 11-1 and have won the past six-straight matches, including a five-set decision on the road in the last meeting a year ago.
- The Bulldogs split a pair of matches last week, falling in five sets at home against Loyola Marymount before beating Pepperdine in three.
- Gonzaga returns all seven starters and 12 letterwinners to last year’s 17-12, 8-10 (6th) squad.
- BYU next competes against Portland (11-7, 1-5 WCC) Saturday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m. MDT.
- The Cougars hold a perfect 8-0 advantage over the Pilots in the overall series, sweeping both matches last season.
- The Pilots lost at home last week to Pepperdine in four and Loyola Marymount in three.
- Portland returns six starters this year after going 7-23, 1-17 (10th) last season.
Thursday’s Gonzaga match will be broadcast live on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio. Saturday’s Portland match will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Links to live stats and video feeds can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.
Thursday’s match against Gonzaga is the annual Pink Game. Fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. Saturday’s match against Portland is the Alumni Game as well as the Cosmo’s Kid’s Club Game. Former women’s volleyball staff and players are encouraged to attend. Those alumni wishing to attend should contact assistant coach Charlene Johnson Whitted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.