Howard leads No. 14 Cougars past Tigers in three


STOCKTON, Calif. – Senior middle blocker Whitney Young Howard helped No. 14 BYU women’s volleyball past Pacific in three sets (25-15, 25-20, 25-19) Thursday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center.

“Tonight was a great team win,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “We had good energy and were really focused. Lyndie (Haddock) did a great job spreading out the offense and everyone got involved. I'm happy for the team.”

Howard led the Cougars with a career-high tying 12 kills while hitting on a .600 clip. McKenna Miller added nine kills and Veronica Jones-Perry had eight kills. Lyndie Haddock set the team with 34 assists while Mary Lake chipped in 13 digs. Amy Boswell collected a match-high five blocks to go with eight kills and Lacy Haddock contributed six kills in the win.

BYU (21-3, 10-2 West Coast Conference) and Pacific (14-11, 8-5 WCC) stayed within a point of each other to start the first set until a Jones-Perry ace gave the Cougars a 5-3 edge. A pair of kills from Howard forced the Tigers to take their first timeout of the set, trailing 10-7. A Lacy Haddock kill extended BYU’s lead to seven at 16-9 and a 5-0 run increased the advantage to 11, 21-10. Pacific scored the next three-consecutive points, but it wasn’t enough as the Cougars took the set 25-15 on a Howard kill.

A Miller kill gave BYU the first point of the second set en route to an early 4-2 lead. A pair of Tiger errors extended the Cougars’ advantage to four at 8-4, but Pacific scored five of the next six points to tie the score at 9-9. The set remained close from there until a 4-1 Tiger run gave Pacific its first lead of the set at 14-13. BYU retook the advantage with a 7-1 run, capped off by a Miller kill, to go up 23-19. A Howard kill again ended the set for the Cougars, 25-20.

BYU took a 6-2 advantage to begin the third set, capped off by a Boswell kill. The Tigers scored the next three points from blocks, but the Cougars rebounded by collecting the next three points to go back up 9-5. With three kills from Howard, BYU went on a 4-1 rally to extend its advantage to six, 15-9, forcing a Pacific timeout. A pair of Boswell blocks kept the Cougars ahead 19-12, and an ace from her gave BYU a double-digit advantage at 23-13. The Tigers countered with a 6-1 rally, but the Cougars finished off the set 25-19 on another Howard kill.

BYU returns to action on the road Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m. PDT against Saint Mary’s. The match will be streamed live on Live stats can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.