OREM, Utah – Team hitting helped No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball to a three-set (25-14, 25-15, 25-21) victory Saturday night against Utah Valley at the PE Building in front of a record-setting crowd.
“I'm really proud of the way the team came out and executed on offense,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “The girls stayed focused on the task and competed really well. It's great that the community came out to support two local universities. It couldn't have been a better showing. I'm really happy for Sam and his program.”
Alexa Gray led the Cougars with 15 kills on a .519 clip to go along with six digs. Amy Boswell led the way in blocks with four and had seven kills for a .727 clip while Jaiden Achermann collected eight digs. Alohi Robins-Hardy had a team-high 39 assists and eight digs in the win. Veronica Jones had a career-high 12 kills on the night.
As a team, BYU (10-1) finished with a .444 clip, the sixth-highest hitting percentage in its rally-scoring era history. The Cougars played in front of a Wolverine (4-8) record crowd of 2,445.
BYU took a 5-1 advantage early in the first set with help from a pair of Gray kills. Boswell contributed a pair of kills of her own before Utah Valley took its first timeout, down 8-2. The two sides went back-and-forth from there until a Whitney Young Howard and Cosy Burnett block put the Cougars up by eight, 14-6. The Wolverines took their final timeout of the set after a 5-2 BYU rally extended its advantage to nine at 19-10. The Cougars then took a double-digit lead following an errant Utah Valley attack before taking the set 25-14 on a Burnett kill.
The Wolverines held a 2-1 edge to start the second set before BYU came storming back to take a 5-2 lead on a Gray kill. Utah Valley stayed within a point down 9-8, but tough serving helped the Cougars go back up 11-8. Play again went back-and-forth from that point as a Boswell kill after a lengthy rally put BYU up 18-13. A Gray service ace extended the BYU advantage to eight, 22-14, and then a Jones kill finished the set for the Cougars, 25-15.
The Wolverines went up 6-2 to begin the third set after strong play along the net. After a BYU timeout, the two sides traded points until a Howard kill tied the set at 9-all. Another Gray kill then extended the Cougars’ lead to four at 17-14. The score remained close as Burnett delivered a pair of consecutive kills to keep her team ahead 22-19. A Boswell kill finished the set and match for BYU, 25-21.
The Cougars return to action Thursday at 7 p.m. PDT when they face off at San Francisco to begin West Coast Conference play. Links to live stats and a video feed can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.