BYU advances to sixth-straight Sweet Sixteen on Jones-Perry's big night


PROVO, Utah – Veronica Jones-Perry recorded 27 kills as 13th-seeded BYU women's volleyball advanced past No. 24 ranked Oregon in three sets (25-20, 25-21, 25-19) during the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

With the win, the Cougars advance to their sixth-straight NCAA regional semifinals appearance.

"I'm so proud of the way our team played tonight," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "They never wavered from what they wanted and stayed focused the entire match. Dave (Hyte) and Jonny (Neeley) put them in great spots and the team executed what we worked on. Roni (Jones-Perry) was unbelievable on the front and back row. Mary had some fantastic digs that kept the rallies alive and Lyndie set a great match. We're excited we get to practice on Monday and want to keep getting better."

Jones-Perry finished with a .535 hitting clip. McKenna Miller added 11 kills for the Cougars, and Mary Lake had 20 digs in the win.

BYU (30-2) hit at a .327 clip on the night, compared to .265 clip for the Ducks (18-12).

In the first set, BYU went down 2-0 before reeling off four of the next five points, thanks to three Jones-Perry kills. Oregon battled back to lead 7-6 before a Duck error. Another error and kills by Miller and Kennedy Redding put the Cougars up 10-7. A few points later, Jones-Perry's kill gave BYU a 13-9 advantage. A long serve from Oregon made it 15-11 for the Cougars at the media timeout.

BYU scored consecutive points to lead 17-11 and force another timeout. An ace by Jones-Perry gave the Cougars their biggest lead of the set at 20-13. The Ducks then scored three points in a row to cut their deficit to two. After a BYU point, Oregon scored two more to trail just 21-18. The teams traded blows and the Cougars called their second timeout up 23-20. Miller and Jones-Perry finally notched back-to-back kills for a 25-20 BYU win in the first set.

The second set went back and forth early on, and the two teams played to a 9-9 tie. The Ducks scored three in a row to lead 12-9 and force a Cougar timeout. BYU trailed 15-11 before four Oregon errors and a Jones-Perry kill gave the Cougars five-straight points and a 16-15 lead.

Another Duck error made it 20-17 for BYU. Consecutive kills by Danelle Stetler and Jones-Perry gave the Cougars their biggest lead of the set at 22-18. Jones-Perry recorded another kill to make it set point at 24-20. After an Oregon point, Jones-Perry again spiked the ball to give BYU the set, 25-21.

Jones-Perry had a couple of early kills in the third set as the Cougars got out to a 6-3 lead. The Ducks scored three straight to tie the set at 7-7 before a block by Stetler and Redding put BYU on top once again. The Cougars led 15-11 after a Miller kill and two Oregon errors in a row. After a couple more Duck points, Miller made it 16-13 with a kill and Lyndie Haddock extended the lead to four with an ace.

BYU led 19-14 after an Oregon error. The Ducks put another point on the board, but Stetler responded with a kill to make it 20-15 for the Cougars. Oregon scored three straight to cut BYU's lead to 20-18. Stetler and Jones-Perry notched consecutive kills to force a Duck timeout with the Cougars up 22-18. A kill by Jones-Perry and a rally with multiple digs and another Jones-Perry kill put BYU up 24-18. One more Oregon point was followed by Jones-Perry's match-clinching kill, as the Cougars took the third set, 25-19.

In the third round of the NCAA tournament, BYU will travel to the University of Kentucky to take on the fourth-seeded Wildcats.