Defense leads BYU to victory over Pepperdine in four


PROVO, Utah—A stout defensive effort pushed the Cougars to a victory over Pepperdine in four sets (25-17, 18-25, 25-21, 25-21) Tuesday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

"I thought our serving and blocking really kept us in the match," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "Offensively, the team took some great swings, and Lyndie (Haddock) did a great job getting the hitters in rhythm."

Kennedy Redding led the Cougar defense with a career-high nine blocks, and Mary Lake contributed 24 digs. Veronica Jones-Perry collected 23 kills to lead the team on offense, and Lyndie Haddock had 43 assists and season-high 15 digs for a double-double. Cosy Burnett added seven blocks in the win. As a team, BYU (14-1, 3-0 West Coast Conference) had a season-high 17.0 blocks to go with 60 digs.

Back-to-back McKenna Miller kills helped the Cougars take an 8-3 lead early in the first set. Pepperdine (9-6, 1-1 WCC) had a 4-1 run to get within four of BYU, down 10-6. A pair of errors by the Waves then moved the Cougars ahead 19-12, forcing a timeout from the Waves. A Miller save and Jones-Perry kill brought the match to set point, and another Jones-Perry kill secured the set 25-17.

Pepperdine took the early lead in the second set with a pair of blocks and a service ace to go up 6-2. A Miller kill brought the Cougars within two of the Waves, down just 15-13. However, Pepperdine steadily maintained its lead and won the set 25-18 following a pair of blocks.

The Cougars were down 5-2 early in the third set but had a 9-1 run to bring them ahead 11-6 from of a pair of Jones-Perry kills. Pepperdine chipped away at BYU’s lead after several kills, bringing the score to 18-all. A Cougar team effort, capped off by a Danelle Stetler and Burnett block, brought them ahead 23-18. A Burnett kill then closed the set 25-21 for BYU.

Consecutive Jones-Perry kills followed by straight Burnett kills moved the Cougars ahead 5-3 early in the fourth set. BYU maintained its lead with Miller and Jones-Perry kills. Pepperdine came back to tie the set 16 apiece, but kills by Miller, Taylen Ballard, Redding and Jones-Perry pushed the Cougars ahead 22-18. BYU closed the final set 25-21 with a Jones-Perry kill.               

The Cougars face No. 17 San Diego next on the road Saturday, Sept. 30, at noon PDT, at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The match will be streamed live on Links to live stats and the video feed can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.