Balanced attack helps No. 12 BYU cruise past Arkansas-Pine Bluff
ST. LOUIS – A balanced attack helped No. 12 BYU women's volleyball past Arkansas-Pine Bluff in three sets (25-6, 25-10, 25-9) to win the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic, hosted by Saint Louis.
"I liked our energy today," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "I'm glad some of the younger kids had the opportunity to get better. That experience will serve us well as the season goes on."
Newcomer Lacy Haddock led the Cougars with 10 kills on a .556 clip to go along with a pair of digs. Danelle Parady led the way in digs with 11 while Camry Godfrey Willardson had a team-high 31 assists. On the block, Willardson and Madeline Graham contributed a team-high two. Additionally, Amy Boswell hit .889, connecting on 8 of 9 kills to go along with five digs. Cosy Burnett helped on offense with seven kills and Parady connected with six of her own, hitting a .667 clip.
As a team, the Cougars hit a .449 clip, which is good for second-best in Chaifetz Arena history.
A pair of Boswell kills helped propel BYU (5-1) to an early 6-1 advantage in the first set. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-6) then called its second timeout down by double-digits, 12-2, following an Alexa Gray ace. The Golden Lions got a couple of points on the board after a kill and Cougar attack error made the score 17-4. A pair of kills from Veronica Jones helped increase her team's lead to 22-5 before a Burnett kill ended the set 25-6.
Haddock got her first kill as a Cougar in the second set as BYU went up 4-1 early on. Arkansas-Pine Bluff took a timeout following a 6-0 Cougar run before scoring the next two points to make it 10-4, BYU. The Golden Lions then went on a 4-1 run to cut into the lead, down 15-8. The Cougars scored the next six points, paced by a pair of kills from Parady, to increase their advantage to 21-8. BYU took the set 25-10 on a Ciara Parker kill.
A kill from Sophie Cram helped the Cougars take a 4-1 edge to start the third set. A trio of consecutive kills from Haddock followed to increase BYU's lead to nine at 12-3. The two teams traded points from there with a couple of Parady kills helping the Cougars maintain a 22-9 advantage. BYU closed out the set and match 25-9 on a Parady service ace.
Following the match, Parker, Willardson and Gray were named to the all-tournament team. Additionally, Gray was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
The Cougars return home to the Smith Fieldhouse Wednesday as they host Idaho State (4-2) at 7 p.m. MDT. The match will be broadcast live on BYUtv. Links to live stats and a video feed can be found on the BYU women's volleyball schedule page.